Norway-based Schjelderup Trondahl Architects just completed work on a beautiful double-gabled home overlooking the fjords of Holmestrand. The contemporary M-shaped home is perched on top of a rocky cliff and manages to blend in seamlessly with the picturesque surrounding landscape.
The two gabled wings of the structure are angled at 22 degrees, giving the home a rustic cabin feel on the outside and a multi-structured character inside. The home’s design was influenced primarily by the restrictive terrain and the desire of the home owners to build with a limited amount of intervention on the landscape. The home sits on the edge of a protruding cliff and has an amazing 180 degree view of the sea to the east and of the expansive tree-filled landscape to the west. According to the architects, proper window placement took top priority on the project and required quite a bit of strategy, “The challenge in sites like this is usually to refine the views rather than exposing everything everywhere, switching between distant and close views, glimpses and different sources of light and reflections.”
The architects chose two main exterior materials for their ability to compliment the Norwegian landscape. The ground floor entrance features colored tile stone walls, while the rest of the exterior, including both roofs, are covered with burnt and brushed heartwood fir. Interestingly, the architects implemented a Norwegian style of an ancient Japanese technique that preserves wood by charring it (Shou-Sugi-Ban) to make the exterior materials maintenance-free for years to come. This practice was also chosen for the patina that will develop as the home ages and its soft woodgrain exterior turns a silvery grey color.
The luminous interior space has an expansive character thanks to the complex angles created by the gabled ceilings. Asymmetrical walls and ceilings found throughout the house create a multidimensional living space. Further adding to the open, airy atmosphere are the white walls and ceilings, which are covered in oiled poplar plywood panels. The many large windows throughout the house are made out of bulky oak frames, and glass partitions were installed between some of the interior living rooms to take advantage of the natural light.
Photography by Jonas Adolfsen