Communicating the agency’s creations to others in order to mutually strengthen our values and learn from one another is important. That’s why we invited the Mercedes-Benz press team during their road trip to Norway.
Through the prism of craftmanship and comfort, their team came to visit Slevik Cabin, Line’s own summer house on the coast of Oslofjord, and the latest cabin project of the office, Kjerringholmen, on a small island in Hvaler National Park.The office’s main hallmark is family houses and smart apartment complexes. We have a passion for developing solutions for a family’s specific needs.
Discussing craftmanship, passionate work, durability and materials use, is a common ground for our industries, and are parts of the job as architects to develop meaningful projects.
“We are longing for this untouched nature. It brings us calmness and maybe even helps us be more in touch with ourselves”.
Line Solgaard’s latest cabin project lies on Kjerringholmen, a group of islands in Ytre Hvaler National Park. The clients bought this small private island on which to build a holiday home.
The cabin demonstrates the idea that large houses don’t necessarily mean more quality of life. In just 63 square meters, with smart planning, it still has plenty of usable space.
The construction stands on steel pillars to disturb as little the landscape as possible, taking it as the extension of the indoor space – for example, thanks to a beautiful outdoor area. This approach of “build smaller, build smart”, treating nature with respect, keeping the ecological footprint as small as possible is a natural Norwegian mindset, as we like to spend time in Nature, in the outdoor, to roam.
Building near water means developing a responsible understanding of the environment. The reward is an individual spectacle of nature at different times of the year. The houses appeal to all the senses. And it is the attention to detail that makes them special. The philosophy of working with nature instead of against it.
How do we make a neighborhood that includes a variety of people and invites everyone to be part of the community?
That’s what we asked ourselves very early when developing and working with the competition of Stjernehagen, which we won in 2021. The project consists of 130 residential units, and we are currently working on the new zoning plan for the area, to carry out our vision of this new neighborhood.
The project is located 15 minutes’ walk north of Fredrikstad’s city centre, next to a large park, a nature reserve and an existing neighborhood with single family houses from the 1960s and 70s. It will replace the aging ice hockey arena of the city with a residential area, built around the concept of community, sustainability, social interactions neighbour relationships.
Buildings are arranged in three semi-public courtyards. A variety of house types and sizes ensures a dynamic neighbourhood, granting housing accessibility to a broad range of family types and promoting social diversity. Each building has an entrance from the common space of the courtyard, assuring spontaneous social interactions to help prevent social isolation. In addition, each home has access to private gardens or well-exposed terrasses.
This project seeks to improve neighbour relationships by creating a sustainable way of living and sense of community. In essence, shared spaces where meeting and greeting feel unforced and natural, creating a healthy community.
The quality of an architectural project lies in the construction itself, but also in its relationship with its site.
Oredalstunet is a group of seven generous single-family houses on a plot of land where centuries-old oak trees grow. This remarkable feature of the site was an obvious driving force behind the project, which aimed to preserve the richness of the surrounding nature to embellish the houses.
The proximity of the trees to each house means that people live in their foliage, filtering the sunlight and moving in the breeze. The trees shape the atmosphere of the houses and the whole project has been designed to take advantage of this pre-existing treasure.
In a world where man’s environmental impact is irrefutable, the practice of architecture must be conscious, respectful of our resources and always in search of ecological sobriety.
The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is the international standard for assessing the environmental impact of a building for a more ecological architecture, and the agency is proud to certify its projects under this label.
In addition to purely environmental criteria, such as the management of energy, water, the level of pollution in buildings or the recycling of waste materials, this certification also values more humanistic factors. Thus, it also promotes the use of innovative processes and access to sustainable transport, health and well-being of the occupants.
In the office, we integrate all these values deep and early in our process, as a mark of our commitment to help solving the challenging task of the ecological transition.