ContractorGunnar Johansson AS
Primary ArchitectsEinar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Martin Blum-Jansen
Text description provided by the architects. This small annex is located in the garden of two professionals in a residential area on the outskirts of the city.
The clients wanted a place that would give them space and quiet to focus on their writing and work. At the same time they wanted a view that could somehow remind them of their native West-Norwegian landscapes, this in spite of the site’s location only offering views towards a parking lot and a train station. Their intention was that the project would work as an alternative to a cottage in the countryside.
The project was located at the edge of a north-facing slope towards the station, with dense shrubs and weeds below and on either side. To maximize the view, the entire north facing façade consists of glass, providing ample natural light for the workspace inside. In order to not obstruct the view, the desk is made completely out of glass. All of this makes the space seem lifted above the surrounding landscape.
The project rises in height towards the south, in order to reach above the neighbor’s hedge and allow direct sunlight to flow in to the interior. The plan is also made narrower towards the south, to avoid too much sunlight that could disturb the workplace, as well as providing privacy from the garden and the surrounding houses. The overall shape of the building is a result of the transition from the more horizontal north elevation to the vertical south elevation.
Further requests from the clients included a space for relaxation and a reading chair. The space for relaxation is located on a mezzanine, reached by a stair cum bookshelf. The mezzanine is covered with a mattress lined with long haired sheepskins. The reading chair is also lined with sheepskin, and was made as a small nook in the main interior space. The reading chair also has its own little window to allow for a view of the garden as well providing natural light for reading. Both the mezzanine and chair appear as distinct volumes, protruding from the main shape of the building.
The interior is kept deliberately in dark, natural colors and materials to contrast the large glass surfaces. The walls are painted with a single coat of dark brown stain to allow the structure of the wood shine through, and the floor is carpeted with a sisal carpet. The outside is painted black with a high-gloss paint that maintains a reflective quality over time, normally used on wooden boats.