It’s difficult to define this project because the building doesn’t fit into any specific category. Knapphullet could be a cabin, a summerhouse or an annex, depending on how you look at it. Its hybrid design is unique because of the location. You can find it in Sandefjord, in Norway.
This was a project by Lund Hagem, an architecture and urban design practice founded in 1990 and based in Oslo. Over the years it maintained a consistent approach, choosing to follow Nordic design traditions and to adapt them to each project in a unique way. Their designs establish a close connection to the surrounding landscape and a dynamic dialogue between nature and the building.
The company’s diverse portfolio includes projects such as private villas, libraries, apartment buildings, offices and commercial facilities. In all cases the architects combined the latest advances in building technology with sustainable techniques and elements drawn from local traditions in order to create memorable designs.
Knapphullet is a small annex covering an area of only 30 square meters. It was built on a site which was previously occupied by two small sheds. Its design is distinctive and eye-catching, featuring an unconventional roof which folds down to the ground and forms a ramp/ staircase.
By climbing up the roof a viewing platform connected to the cliffs can be reached. A further analysis of the cabin reveals that the entire building dialogues with the cliffs around it. The main idea which started this whole project was focused on finding a way to utilize a naturally-sheltered area surrounded by large rocks and diverse vegetation.
The idea then evolved into a full project which also offers a way to climb up to see the gorgeous view over the sea. This is all due to the unusual and ingenious shape of the roof. The building is closely connected to its surroundings, an atrium being created between the house and the cliffs.
The interior and the exterior are closely connected. A concrete bench extends from the indoor living area into the outdoor space, establishing a seamless transition between these spaces. The building has glazed side walls which let in abundant natural light while also exposing the internal spaces to the panoramic views.
Although it has a small footprint, the building expands vertically on three levels and this allows it to include a basement, a ground floor and a roof level. Inside there’s a small living space with a wood-burning stove and a concrete counter placed in continuation of the outdoor bench.
A suspended bed occupies a portion of the space, leaving enough room underneath for a dining or lounge space. A bathroom completes the interior of the cabin.
The array of materials used for the project is mainly based on concrete and wood. The roof is made of concrete with insulation on the inside and the courtyard and the flooring are made of white concrete.
The acoustic ceiling is covered with woven oak strips which hide the joints in the panels and create a continuous and cohesive look throughout. The interior walls are also made of natural oak. The wood creates a warm and balanced look, contrasting with the cold concrete elements.