A Norwegian Vacation House
This stunning vacation house on an island close to Ryfylke in southern Norway has been designed by Oslo-based architect Espen Surnevik. Only 30 minutes from the city of Stavanger, the location has the feeling of somewhere much more remote. It is nestled in among the rocky outcrops that characterise this stretch of coastline, allowing for incredible views of the Mastrafjord. The location of the site also allows for it to be sheltered among the natural geological formations, which are integrated beautifully into the home's design.
For the architect It was important during the planning, and construction, to respect and admire the natural formations of the local geology. The house is planned to integate the beauty of the geology into the building through windows placed close to the natural wall of rock running along the full length of the back of the property. In this way the location becomes an important part of the interior, and a fundamental feature of the design of the property.
A series of sliding doors within the property allows rooms to be divided, or to integrate with each other in improvised sequences. This became an important tool for the architect to create a house that could be completely opened into one continuous space, with the flexibility to create more private and cosy living spaces when required.
The social areas within the property are placed in the middle of the house, while the bedrooms, and bathrooms are located in each end of the building. Huge bi-folding doors allow all rooms a separate entrance to terraces running in front of the house. The terraced outdoor area also has a functional role - it acts as a wind break from the strong gusts that can come in off the North Sea.
The characteristic geology of the site, and the client's wish to have a low maintenance property, have influenced the materials chosen by the architect. Mineral based materials have been selected: floors and foundations are made of concrete, while walls are made of brick. The bricks that were selected are long, grey and horizontal - intended to create a dialog with the old rock. The surrounding vegetation is dominated by oak-trees and has led to use of oak as a material for the interior and non-supporting walls of the building - thanks in no small part to the skills of the master craftsmen involved with this project!