Malangen Retreat

Norway / 2017

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69 Love 4,209 Visits Published

Malangen peninsula is an hour´s drive south of Tromsø in Northern Norway. The site is positioned on a ridge rising from the fiord below and overlooks a natural opening in the forest.


 The retreat is laid out east to west effectively shielding the opening in the forest, which is only discovered once you enter through the large oak sliding door from the outside courtyard. The clients had a clear wish for enough space to welcome family and friends visiting. To gather at the family retreat for weekends or holidays is a beautiful tradition, but the challenge is often that given a few days you also long for some privacy again. Thus we planned a main part and an annexe separated by the central covered courtyard which is where you enter their retreat through the oak sliding door. As a response to the cold climate and challenging weather the central courtyard functions as a winter garden, with a fireplace and outdoor kitchen. From here the retreat opens up to the natural clearing in the forest and from here you enter into either the main building or the annexe. Each group of rooms are done as separate volumes to achieve an additional layer of privacy, but also to enhance the main room´s contact to the clearing in the forest and the contact to the outdoors in the transition spaces in between. The main part and the annexe are composed of two volumes each, the annexe comprised of utility rooms and the relax area with a sauna directly exposed to the view outside in one box and the guest rooms and an activity room in the second. The main part with entrance, children´s room and a small secondary living room in the first volume, the main bathroom and master bedroom in the second. A few steps lead down to the open space kitchen an living room set low in the terrain and overlooking the fiord and the afternoon sun to the west. A dedicated exit from the kitchen lead to the south-facing outdoor area where the family enjoy their dinners on warm summer days.


 


The volumes are all made in wood with the exterior cladding (both indoors and outdoors) in cedar panel which was treated with iron sulfate and kept outside for months before assembly to achieve an even patina regardless of being outdoors or indoors. The interior surfaces are mainly in knot free oak to achieve a warmer contrast to the outside of the volumes. The wooden volumes are all slightly elevated in relation to the in-between spaces. All the in-between spaces have a concrete floor to emphasize that these spaces relate to the terrain and the outdoors in a different manner. The ceilings in these spaces are all made of oak slats that through the treatment with iron sulfate turn naturally black because of the high content of tannin. The airy and black ceilings retreat from the visual connection to the outside, while contrasting the visually cold of the outdoors and providing a softer acoustics at the same time. The sauna is only separated from the outside by a large frameless glass, underlining the secluded privacy of the clearing in the forest, the interiors custom designed in cedar.


 


A major part of the interiors such as the dining table, dining bench, beds, wardrobes, the fireplace and sliding door in the wintergarden, etc, are custom designed by Stinessen.


 


 


 


 


 


Sustainability at a glance:


1.      The building is positioned on an existing ledge in the terrain that had limited vegetation, thus the vegetation and trees around the building has been largely preserved. 


2.      Water is sourced from a local watersource.


3.      Sewage is cleansed at local facility.


4.      Energy is mainly hydropower.


6.      Garbage is sorted (all households in the area sort by; plastic, paper, glass, food waste and general garbage for recycling purposes).


7.      All wood is sourced from sustainable sources, where the wood is replanted or harvested in an ecological sound manner.


8.      All stonework utilizes stones quarried from a small quarry at the site.


9.     The insulation values ensure minimum requirement for heating even in the lowest winter temperatures.


10.   Firewood is sourced in the private forest as part of tending the forest.


11.   The most particular feature is perhaps the construction of separate volumes and in-between spaces, that naturally creates different temperature zones and a very controlled use of energy for heating. Some areas, such as in-between spaces, sleeping rooms etc will be comfortable with fairly low temperatures, limiting the volume of spaces with higher temperatures.


12.   The entrance area and wintergarden functions as a protected and semi-tempered zone (without particular heating) between the main part and the annexe. It also provides an additional layer to the natural ventilation during summertime, even on windy or rainy days.


13.   As part of the planning process and building application a large forest area has been protected on the clients and our initiative.


Snorre Stinessen

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    Malangen peninsula is an hour´s drive south of Tromsø in Northern Norway. The site is positioned on a ridge rising from the fiord below and overlooks a natural opening in the forest.  The retreat is laid out east to west effectively shielding the opening in the forest, which is only discovered once you enter through the large oak sliding door from the outside courtyard. The clients had a clear wish for enough space to welcome family and friends visiting. To gather at the...

    Project details
    • Year 2017
    • Work finished in 2017
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Single-family residence / Modular/Prefabricated housing
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