There once was a very rare and special client in Norway.
“We want to rethink the way we live – not style but lifestyle – a house for all seasons, where the borders between inside and outside are diverse and changing…And an enormous kitchen”
They had purchased a beautiful island property 33mx65m on the Oslo fjord 25 km west of the city. The rough, natural site was densely vegetated, with a steep fall to the sea and a private beach.
In Norway over 70% of new, single family houses are prefabricated, built in a quasi-traditional style. This farce, devoid of parallel evolved building tradition is further marginalized by highly stylized ‘magazine’ interiors. The clients, well read and traveled were critical to these tendencies, as well as the professional problematic surrounding modernism and functionalism.
Together with the husband and wife, the architect made a description about relationships, lifestyle, transformation, freedom(s), physicality, sensuality, intimacy, transparency, and evolution, landscape. Issey Miyake and Vermeer were common inspirations.
Out of the site two territorialized platforms were established, one concrete, carved into the rock and oriented towards the hillside and sea, the other, a steel folded plate, oriented towards the south. These two platforms or landscapes, each occupied by different architectures, are connected by a large rupture. On the lower landscape there is the private cabin (wrapped in a sinus-curved massive wood skin), a ‘batcave’ carport in the split between the excavated and the built, a ‘live’ room, a gigantic fireplace with a view through to the forest (fire), and a space for undefined personal experiments (swimming, basketball, wedding reception, remote controlled cars, trains, pet bird, and business meetings). On the upper landscape an kitchen and a library, the first covered, the other wrapped. The two spaces disconnected by a third, a terrace.
The ambitions of change and flexibility are offset with hyper specificity, the collision of which results in non-traditional aesthetics and constructions.
LOCATION Asker, Oslo Norway
SITE 2500 m2 rough natural waterfront site, densely vegetated, with a steep drop towards the sea. Private beach, views to the fjord both north and south
AREA 575 m2
PROGRAMME Living area including large kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, library/ studio with bathroom and 45m2 apartment
STATUS Completed 2003
DESIGN Space Group
PARTNER IN CHARGE Gary Bates
PROJECT ARCHITECT Adam Kurdahl
TEAM Gary Bates, Adam Kurdahl, Gro Bonesmo, Franco Bløchlinger (Metallplan), Tina Christensen, Nancy Jensen, Minna Riska
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT West 8, Netherlands
FAÇADES R. Daaland AS
STRUCTURE Dr. Techn. Kristoffer Apeland AS, ABT Netherlands (Rob Nijsse)
MECHANICAL Techno Consult AS
ELECTRICAL Støltun AS
CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT CM Prosjekt AS (Niels Monrad Hansen, Lage Grefsrud)
PROJECT MANAGEMENT CM Prosjekt AS (Jan Salvesen)
PHOTOGRAPHY Jeroen Musch, Ivan Brodey, Espen Grønli
AWARDS Houens Fund’s Diploma for outstanding architecture Norwegian Steel Prize 2005 European Steel Award 2005