A historic farm with pristine views of Oslo Fjord has found an utterly modern way of preserving a protected site. A new home designed for the family living on the farm was bermed under a green roof to make it nearly invisible from the road. Outside the back wall of windows below ground level, a pool deck follows the topography of the natural site down toward the fjord in the distance. This creates a seamless connection between land and water.
Villa Aa is both an office and a home. On the northwest side, the building has a main entrance that lies at the bottom of a pathway leading down from the parking area by the road. A second entrance comes in by staircase through a courtyard. On the south side that faces away from the main entrance, the back wall of the home is made entirely of glass panels with incredible views.
A formal living room, kitchen and three bedrooms face the outdoor spaces to the rear. Facing west to the side of the home, a family living room is located next to the bathrooms. An office area, which doubles as a guest room, faces east. Many rooms feature skylights up through the green roof for maximum natural lighting.
It’s not just a green roof, though. The roof of Villa Aa is a walkable extension of the front lawn. Behind the home, where the green roof ends, a terrace and garden courtyard feature two water features. One is a modern rectangular swimming pool, and the smaller pool houses aquatic plants and collects rainwater.
How do you build a home and office as unique as Villa Aa? Concrete was the main building material, mostly to match a concrete barn on the farm. The columns and girders are steel, but wood with a smoked and varnished finish was also used on many surfaces. These materials give the home a polished and sleek mid-century modern look that contrasts with the ancient farm and surrounding land, while still blending into the environment. Cedar panels on the exterior warm up the outside of the home. Floors inside are polished concrete to match the exterior terrace, which extends the impression of a space that flows from home to outdoor living space to the fjord beyond.
Images by Ivar Kvaal