Ever been somewhere with a great view and wonderful surroundings and imagined how it would be like to wake up to those great views? Most of the time that remains a beautiful dream. Sometimes, however, that dream becomes reality. The main impediment is usually the difficult landscape but in the case of the Lille Arøya project the architects found a way to use everything to their advantage.
This is a holiday home located in Larvik, Norway. It sits 5 meters (16 feet) from the water’s edge and, although the site didn’t feature the necessary characteristics for building, the architects in charge managed to make the project possible. The site presented big topographic differences, being populated with large rocks resembling small islands.
Normally, the practical choice would have been to build on solid ground, a few meters away from the water. But that option wouldn’t have been as spectacular. The architects at Lund Hagem chose a more adventurous option. The studio is based in Oslo and was founded in 1990, being constantly driven by the desire to follow Nordic design tradition. Their projects also try establish dynamic dialogues with their surroundings and nature in general.
This unique holiday home was built on stilts in order to stay above water and to respond to the difficult topography of the site. It occupies a low rock area and it latches onto this structure becoming embedded into the land.
The interior space is composed of two volumes. The lower volume is occupied by the private spaces (bedrooms and bathrooms) and the other one houses the kitchen, dining area and living room. The whole structure undulates and adapts in response to the conditions on the site and the shapes of the rocks present here.
This holiday home is actually a new addition to an existing building. The clients wanted a new holiday home that would be more sheltered and would ensure a better dialogue with the surroundings. The old and the new structures don’t hare much in common, featuring contrasting designs.
The new addition sits naturally within the landscape and becomes a natural part of the site, allowing free circulation and use of the surroundings. One of the characteristics of this project is also the desire to enhance the qualities of the site and to make use of areas that previously had to particular value.
The 8.084 square foot house has a timber structure that defines both its exterior and interior design. Large beams connect the interior and exterior surfaces while solid galvanized steel columns embedded straight into the rock ensure a solid and durable frame.
The interior and exterior walls are clad in pine boards, organized either vertically or horizontally. The facades and the roof are painted sooth black in order to allow the house to seamlessly blend in with its surrounding environment and to reduce its visual impact on the site. Harmony and a smooth dialogue with the exterior were important and taken into consideration throughout the project. The result was a very striking structure which looked surprisingly at home on the site.