Villa G / Saunders Architecture


Architect: Saunders Architecture
Location: Bergen,
Principal Architect: Todd Saunders
Structural Engineer: Node AS
Services Engineer: Node AS
Quantity Surveyor: Todd Saunders
Builder: Bygg AS, Trond Folkedal
Project Area: 368 sqm
Project year: 2007-2009
Photographs: Bent René Synnvåg & Jan Lillebø

415 7-copy 451 Villa Glittenberg

Architect Todd Saunders landed a creative and dynamic client when he got the job to design a house on the south-west coast of Bergen, Norway. The result is a rare and beautiful, and Saunders has said that the process has made him into a better architect.

Villa G lies like a white landmark in the soft landscape at Hjellestad, near Bergen. The house is large yet not dominating, modern but not pretentious. The house has a futuristic form but is built with traditional Nordic materials and architectural elements with a good basis in Norwegian building methods.


The wooden cladding on the house consist of 3 different size mounted in a random pattern. The house has an over built outside space and covered and the second floor covers the entrance below helping the house work together with the rough climate on the west coast of Norway. Villa G is now another plus in Todd Saunders consist portfolio of work.

The architect and the client started out on good terms and ended up having a very good working collaboration in all stages of the project. The architect liked the larger lines while the client was a perfectionist in regards to the details. The process was very symbiotic. All parts of the house were a fruitful discussion between the architect and the client.


The stair for example was developed together with the client and evolved after at least 10-12 suggestion that ended up as this final stair. The stair is one solid piece of 1cm thick steel, galvanized with white sand corn making it slip resistant. The stair is produced locally, weighs almost a tonne, and had to be lifted into place by a crane through the window in the roof.


The architect and client have an enthusiastic description of the design and building process. Saunders say, “the client is very intelligent and has a acute interest in architecture. He challenged us the whole time, but never can got in the way of out design process. The family has documented their wants and needs. These clear and concise wishes help us come of with simple design principles for the project.


When commenting his own experience of the how the design of the house evolved, the owner said: “yes, we had an exact number of how many meters of closets we needed and so on. We have built a few houses before this and have learned from our experiences and mistakes. We knew that we wanted a house with clean lines without any visual noise and clutter.” This is one of the reasons that most of the closets and storage spaces are integrated into, so – called, thick wall – walls that are at least 60-70cm deep. The kitchen bench is 8 meters long and has plenty of drawers for kitchen equipment and even other things that need to be stored away. None of the electrical outlets are visible and all technology controlled by a main control panel in the kitchen. The client admits that he is a “gadget freak” and the house reflects this part of his personality.

All the previous houses that the client has built were based on the fact that they will be sold again in the near future. Now, however, the owner says that “we have made a house where will live for a very long time”.

Cite: "Villa G / Saunders Architecture" 03 Aug 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Olivier M.

    Villa G / Saunders Architecture
    Pas mal ça!

  • Timothy Wu

    RT @archdaily: Villa G / Saunders Architecture #fb

  • ArchitecturePassion

    Villa G / Saunders Architecture: Architect: Saunders Architecture
    Location: Bergen, Norway
    Principal Architect: Todd Sau

  • bentply

    I typically like Saunders work and I appreciate most of this design. The only portion I am not a huge fan of is the exterior color palette. My old boss used to refer to it as ‘vanilla coating’ a building. In relation to the form, I dont think a monochromatic palette should have been used. But who knows…maybe it was the clients choice.

    I do really enjoy his work. It’s very playful!

  • StructureHub Blog

    Very early Richard Meier (this is good) – even in the use of white-washed wood, which is a good, affordable stand-in for concrete. Inside, that stairway-sculpture really makes the living room.

  • Mr. Cheap

    Good craft, boring design.

  • snap

    just boring,

  • Rossi

    Boring? Come on… it’s a house, not a roller coaster. The plans are good, the design is beautiful in a low-key way and not just loud pretence – it’s a house for real people. A good one at that.

  • Oliver

    I think this house isn’t boring – the stair is absolute fantastic – the kitchen and the bathroom is also great. this is a really cool house …

  • malgorzata boguslaw

    That stairway doesn’t look safe.

  • Fresh Nest Design

    Beautiful, clean living & no visible electrical outlets!

  • rodney

    Nice work.
    Well done details, and the plan looks livable in a multitude of ways.

  • Pingback: Sick Crib, even looks better in winter….By Saunders Architecture, Bergen, Norway « Basic Complexity

  • salvadore

    a beautiful project! it really is a complete work of contemporary architecture.

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