Text description provided by the architects. The L15 project is located in Lillesand, a small town close to the Norwegian coastline in the south of Norway, on a family-owned property built around an old orchard. The extension accommodates an open-plan dining, kitchen, and living area as well as an outdoor dining area overlooking the garden. One of the aims for the expansion of this single-family house was to create a harmonious ensemble of old and new while respecting the building`s natural surroundings.
To achieve this, it was important to acknowledge the history of the place with the neighboring buildings, the surrounding rocky landscape, the indigenous tall pine trees, and the cultivated garden – and integrate them into the overall design of the new extension.
The angular plan layout opens up in three directions, all of which lead to different parts of the site`s history. Through the footprint, the extension creates new outdoor spaces, and views, which seek to optimize the site and connect the house to the garden, the place, and the history.
The sun rises every morning from the old main farm in the east, and shines directly through the main axis of the extension and into the flowering garden in the west, as a reminder of the place`s history but with rays of light towards a new day. By positioning the extension parallel to the road, orientated towards the existing house, an outdoor space is created to the southwest that is sheltered from the sun and wind, as well as affording privacy.
One aim was to create a site-adapted contemporary extension combining good craftsmanship and durable materials; a building that is built sustainably for the long-term, both in terms of environment, life cycle, and functionality, with all main functions and qualities available from the same floor. In the project, the best building traditions from the past are used in combination with materials from the present.
Rather than imitating the architecture of the existing house that dates back to the 1980s, the extension has clean surfaces and a star-shaped wooden construction clad in large facade panels and floor -to ceiling glass openings that contrasts strongly, while not dominating or competing with it.
Another aim was to preserve the spruce and pine trees and the cultivated garden that the owner has created over several decades. By cantilevering the extension above the bedrock and keeping the large rhododendron plants, which create a windshield and a picture motif in the room, the landscape has been respected and integrated. Generous sliding glass doors open to the flowering bushes and bring nature into the space. Neutral colors ensure that it remains the main focus.
While the extension opens up to the existing building and garden in the south, it is closed towards the gravel road in the north. By perforating this closed façade of panels with small, punctured holes in a motif of an abstracted tree branch, the extension echoes the old orchard of trees.