Text description provided by the architects. Lyngholmen is an island in the archipelago in Aust Agder, the South coast of Norway. The site is situated on the threshold between the rocky landscape and the ocean. The site is sloping down towards to the south, and it has magnificent ocean views. The site is also naturally sheltered from wind by the existing vegetation and rocks yet it opens up to the evening sun.
The key feature of the house is the roof that bridges across the existing rocks. It does not only shelter the immediate outdoor space from wind but also articulates the view towards the ocean from the house. The roof structure mediates the threshold between inside and outside and unifying between the nature and the building.
Articulating and redefining the immediate landscape was considered important in this project. A new path was created from the house to the beach and a new jetty placed carefully without minimum disruption to the landscape. As the island is only accessible by boat, the main entrance to the house is placed on the south side to establish a gentle axis to the private beach.
The concealed lights in the bollards lead down to the water in the evening welcoming those arriving from the sea. The existing vegetation was also carefully preserved and the volume of the building has been defined in harmony with the surroundings.
Site restrictions and planning limitation:
This project was permitted as it replaces an existing cottage from the 60’s. The new plan had to be developed in close relationship with the footprint of the existing building and all the rooms of the new plan had to fit within the 100 sqm floor area.
In order to maximize the usable floor area, all the circulation between the rooms was placed outside, under the one large roof. As a result, two enclosed wings are established, connected by the outdoor terrace. The main wing contains an open-plan living room and kitchen that has a direct access to the master bedroom. The other wing contains a children’s bedroom and a guest room with a study. Each room has its own entrance from the upper wooden deck.
The stair articulates the existing site levels and creates a threshold between the two different terraces. The stair also mediates the two material pallets, the main platform in white concrete and the upper platform in wood. The terrace is carefully positioned to be well sheltered from the wind. The roof structure stretches over the terrace to form a canopy providing sunshade. The additional storage space and the utility rooms are hidden under the articulated platforms.
The roof is executed in 270mm thick reinforced concrete with 40mm VIP isolation sheets. The roof is supported by 100mm diameter steel columns place independently of the walls. The reinforcements are placed densely in order to prevent cracks. The structure itself is water resistant, thus no additional roofing materials are required. As a result the roof provides a smooth white surface creating an interesting dialogue with the rocky landscape, and gives the cabin its distinctive character.
The choice of material is simple yet robust. White concrete, glass and ash are all carefully selected to match with the hues that are naturally found in the surrounding landscape so that the building gradually blends into its surroundings. The material pallet was narrowed down to these three, and individual materiality is enhanced and explored in the detailing. Ash was used both internally and externally. In the interior the ash is simply stained white but for the exterior the wood had to be hardened in a thermal process.
The window and door frames are all bespoke joinery and carefully assembled in a local joinery workshop. The concrete is also used both inside and out. The fireplace and the long bench are con¬structed with the same white concrete as the roof, the terrace and the stair.