Fireplace for Children / Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter


Architect: Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Client: Trondheim Municipality, Norway
3D consultancy: Scenario Architecture
Rapid prototyping: Espen BÊrheim
Contractor: Pan Landskap AS
Project Year: 2009
Photograph: Jason Havneraas & Grethe Fredriksen

2 3 4 6

The office was invited by the municipality of Trondheim to suggest an outdoor project for a kindergarten.

site plan
site plan

Although the region is characterized by predominantly maritime climate and the weather varies considerably throughout the seasons, there is a popular saying ‘there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing,’ and all seasons are equally attractive to the Norwegian children that enjoy outside activities all year round.


Together with the standard playground facilities we wished to combine an enclosed space for fire, storytelling and playing.


Given a very limited budget, reusing leftover materials (from a nearby construction site) was a starting point that led the design to be based on short wooden pieces. Inspired by the Norwegian turf huts and old log construction, a wooden construction was built and mounted on a lighted and brushed concrete base. The structure is made of 80-layered circles. The circles have varied radiuses and relative center point in relation to each other. Every circle is made out of 28 pieces of naturally impregnated core of pine that are placed with varied spaces to assure chimney effect and natural light. Oak separators differentiate vertically between the pine pieces to assure airflow allowing easy drying of the pine pieces. A double curved sliding door was designed for locking the structure.

Cite: "Fireplace for Children / Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter" 17 Dec 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Rik

    A firetemple! To sacrifice the little children in!
    Great! :)

    (I actually do like it)

  • menlow

    Terrific project.

  • Aa9

    ¡ children , fire , wood.. i dont think thats a good idea .. kidding nice proyect

  • ion

    A fireplace for cooking children! Yummmy!

    • teddy

      That’s what I thought–what does that say about us?

  • tweedy

    This was very nicely done. It would have been nice to see some detail drawings of the project, it is kind of hard to understand the wall construction while the space inside is nicely portrayed. Seems like an awful nice place for a child to listen to good story.

  • pepech

    Brilliant! Stunning, natural, useful… A truly norwegian piece of art.

  • scroggins5000


  • Second Rate

    Zumthor meets officeDA in a beautiful pavilion. Post some details. I wonder about the little shims and what their purpose is?

    • Siri

      the spacers allow for fresh air to come in to the space so that the smoke from the fire exits properly through the top hole(for hot air to go straight up there must be sufficient new air drawn in from the bottom, like in natural ventilation), and so that the larger wooden pieces dry up after rainfalls(wood holds water and rots if not properly aired out)

  • tra

    they are spacers… allows for that beautiful nighttime glow.

    it also looks like they fit in little notches in the brick and stop the wood blocks from sliding off of each other.

  • teo

    This project reminds me of Sami Rintala Birdcage (2001) and the book installation he did the same year.

  • yang

    nice in the night~

  • metcalf

    Isnt this where George Cauldron lives?

  • Terry Glenn Phipps

    Compare this to the Prada Terminator, or whatever that thing is called. It is refreshing to see something conceptual built for an actual purpose other than the vainglorious self-promotion of the BRAND. “You know, it’s for kids”.

    Moreover, one supposes they modeled this on a computer. Now this is a good way to use a computer to achieve something organic that might have been otherwise difficult.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

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  • Diego

    Fireplace + Childrens + wood structure…. bad combination… one thing is the look of the proyect… and other thing is the safety…and in this case…is more important the safety of the kids. sooo im no a big fan of this proyect.

    • Andrew

      Poor Diego, thinks wood is a “fire hazard”… Do you know that practically ALL houses in Norway are built in wood? You are a victim of your own cultural bias. You know nothing about safety.

      Here in Northern Europe building in wood is not a problem, and we have open fireplaces in most houses.

      • DEM

        oKAY, but the only photo with real children inside that thing was made with no fire lighted.;)

    • Jaime Mendez

      Heat, edge or gravity are universal risks, but security has more to do with the management of risks than to its existence. It is why we amaze about Japanese homes without guard rails, and I know that in northern Europe the relation between fire, wood and children doing activities outdoors can be in complete normalcy and security. For them is a cultural thing which comes from many generations, and habit that occurs naturally and handling risks properly.

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  • JJ

    hershey kisses!!!

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  • David Boureau

    I love this project, Heat of the fire in this cold winter! Very good idea, children’s likes it.
    And especially in Trondheim. What will be your next project to bild?

    Greetings from Paris,

    David Boureau
    Architectural photographer

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  • Peyman

    I have seen a construction like this in my country whith a different material which have been used about hundred years ago when there was no refrigirator for keeping the Ice in summer!!!!!