Team:  Christian Kloth and Michael Gransitzki

Year:   2011

the project

The object of this project was the renovation and conversion of a dilapidated residence in Norway near Kristiansand approximately 930 km from Berlin. The idea was to develop a research and education center for children and school classes. The residence is located on a steep, evergreen countryside surrounded by only few trees.

The goal is to make the conversion cost effectively and keep the construction method simple and furthermore to meet the local tradition and simultaneously create an object with landmark character.

The space program provides for a conference and meeting room for about 30 people, a simple laboratory, a work room and a kitchen and all sanitary facilities. Use of the building takes exclusively place during the day. It should be noted that the daylight hours in summer extend to up to 18 hours and in winter reduce  to 6 hours in southern Norway.

the design

Base for the design process was the surrounding landscape, as well as the classic Scandinavian house design of the buildings around. The immediate area is dominated by meadows and forests. Here and there gray rocks break to the surface.

For architectural design, as well as a construction material primarily wood will be used. As a local, renewable resource it has an especially large co²-efficiency. For the base of the building, the existing stone wall will be preserved, as it corresponds to the Scandinavian tradition. Therefore we can greatly save on construction costs for the ground floor.

For the design of the facade spruce wood is used, which comes from the local timer production. The wood will be treated with a burnt outer layer, which forms a protective skin that resists insects, rot and any future fires. It also give the house it’s distinctive colour, contrasting, yet harmonically with the environment. The clear geometric shape and the use of natural materials serves as a mediator between embedding and emerging.

the building

The building openings will be limited to a minimum and blur with the overall appearance of the building. They are designed as a narrow room height windows. This adapts to the varying climate of Norway and balances between the heating in the summer and radiant heat loss in the winter.

The construction is carried out in a modular design to allow easy assembling and to avoid elaborate woodwork.  The wooden plank serves as a starting point for the module. By combining these wood planks, which are shifted against each other, we create a module that by slight changes in the length parameter can be used and installed in a versatile fashion.

The kitchen is positioned on the upper floor. The sanitary amenities are located at the same location in the floor below. The laboratory and research spaces are located in the basement to work with the site slope. This natural inclination allows a direct access to the open terrain. Hence the students and researchers can directly emerge into the nature for exploration. The meeting room is located upstairs and can be extended into the hallway via foldaway walls.

To the south and west side there is a room high panoramic window. This allows a view into the green and enhances the daylight inside the rooms. The horizontally hinged shutters function  as shading devices when open and contrasts with the vertical openings of the object.

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