The site, located north of Oslo’s city centre, is part of a neighborhood consisting primarily of villas from the 1930’s. Over the past few years, this area has been the subject of an increasing number of densification projects. In this particular case, the client wished to build a house for his family of five in the backyard of a property that has been owned by the family for generations.
Wothouse in Oslo, Norway
The square structure is punctured by precise cut-outs for the windows and doors, whose deliberate positioning creates varying daylight effects throughout the three floors of the building. The skylight, located directly above the staircase, fills the house with daylight all the way down to the basement, an area which is additionally immersed in indirect daylight from the deep light well. The way in which natural light enters and is filtered by the building is constantly changing. This reinforces the characteristics of the different living areas, while also ensuring varied views and close connections to the exterior environment.
“A brick facing seemed to us to be the ideal choice to emphasize the large-scale of the house. The bricks were laid with unusually narrow mortar joints recessed from the face of the brick to give the impression of a dry stacked façade”, explains the architect. Except for the exterior doors made of oak, the palette of materials is mostly muted. Contrasting the exterior‘s darker colouring, the materials used in the interior are limited to concrete and plasterboard surfaces with a continuous floor surface of untreated spruce.
Expectations and demands are high, the wish list is long. This presents architects and clients with complex challenges. In consideration of the demands and expectations relating to quality of living, indoor climate, health and energy-efficiency, bricks, clay blocks and roof tiles prove to be very valuable building materials.