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“Build smaller, build smarter” philosophy inspires Line Solgaard’s latest cabin project

Architect Line Solgaard presents the office’s latest cabin project, a wilderness retreat.

“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. 

«We are longing for this untouched nature. It brings us calmness and maybe even helps us be more in touch with ourselves.»

Line Solgaard

The agency presents the housing project and the challenges of Stjernehagen.

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.

«Seldom is enough attention paid to the neighborhood in large-scale projects. Beautiful and well-thought-out spaces between buildings make such a big difference.»

Construction of seven high-standard individual houses surrounded by Nature.

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 characterised by increasing awareness of human impact on the environment, architecture must be practiced with consideration and care to safeguard our natural resources.

We take environmental responsibility seriously, which is why we are "Miljøfyrtårnsertifiserte" (Eco-Lighthouse certified). Through this certification, we are committed to carrying out projects and running our business in a way that protects the environment.

BREEAM-NOR is the international standard for assessing the environmental impact of buildings, and we are proud to be BREEAM-NOR AP approved.

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