- Architects & Builders: Jesper Nilsen, Elias Huse, Frede Håland Grepstad, Brage Neslein Korsnes, Kasper Svendsen, Fida Irene Heldal Stray, Julie Finstad, Alva Oleanna Thingnes Førsund, Katrine Mathisen, Njål Armin Kaland Homeyer, Ida Vigdis Slettvold
- Architect, Project Manager & Builder: Erlend Hammer Ness
- Structure Engineer: Kim Christensen
- Country: Norway
Text description provided by the architects. In the past five weeks, thirteen 2nd year students from class 35 at Bergen School of Architecture have lived deep within Sognefjorden in Norway, where they have built LIVD, a brand new public social space, just near the water in the tiny village of Balestrand.
The project is the latest edition of a «Climate Chamber», an annual course and collaboration between the municipality of Sogndal and Bergen School of Architecture (BAS), where the students are given a site within the area to design, develop and build a project. The students spent the first months of the academic year doing registrations and research, for later to work on individual suggestions for the site. The task was to create something that carries a clear function, creates at least two different climatized spaces, and somehow relates to the geographical surroundings and challenging climatic situation. One suggestion was chosen to later be developed, built, and finished, all and only by the same students.
LIVD is designed by student Vilda Brekke Sundström, and later developed and build with 12 other classmates. It contains five separate brick walls, a floor in concrete and wood, and a flat wood roof floating on top. The place invites one or several groups of people to socialize simultaneously as the walls divide the place into different zones for different purposes.
As being located in the widest part of Sognefjorden, Livd is surrounded by spectacular beauty, and the project is designed both to be a social place but also to emphasize the existing beauty on all sides. The straight lines of the structure reflect the steep and wavy landscape. The placement, size, and direction of the walls make the nearby beauty reappear, as the Canadian oak on the south, but also directs you to the spectacular view of the fjord against the east, with mountains far on the horizon, and the evening sun and green valley in the west. The walls contain a place to hang your towel if you feel for a swim, a sun wall with a bench to be entirely exposed to the view, and a fireplace with a wind-protecting wall where you can still enjoy the view.
Tactile surfaces such as an area of the floor, the benches, the roof, and a shorter wall to lean on are covered in soft Larch wood. The spaces are open, light, and inclusive, yet private enough to be alone and hopefully calm enough to find «LIVD». If you ever come across Sognefjorden in Norway make sure to stop by Balestrand, where you can visit LIVD and several other public places built and designed by students at Bergen School of Architecture. It is worth the visit!