AUTHOR:

Espen Surnevik

YEAR:

2017

LOCATION:

Ryfylke, Rennesøy, Rogaland, Norway

The client commissioned a vacation house on an island in Ryfylke, thirty minutes driving from the city of Stavanger (on the west-coast of Norway) where she lives. She wanted the project to find a special and gentle dialogue with the landscape at the site. The criteria for the project was to be a well-working retreat for a single person, and at the same time work well with long-term visitors coming to stay for weekends and holydays.The site is dominated by nature and is situated on a steep cliff overlooking the Mastrafjord, and further out in west, the horizon of the North-see. The place and the landscape are characterised by natural geological formations expressed by million-year-old horizontal layers of hard sediments.
It was important during the planning, and construction, to take care of the natural formations of the geology. The house is planned to bring the beauty of the geology into the building trough glass openings placed close to the natural wall of rock running along all the site behind the house. In this way the location, and the site, becomes a important part of the interior, and the experience of the spaces inside.
The house is planned on a strict constructive axis-system based on diagonal quadrats of 3,5×3,5m. Bearing brick-walls, and single steel-columns, are placed in the axis-positions and are organising all the room. A series of sliding doors allows rooms to be divided, ore to integrate with each other in improvised sequences. This became an important tool to create a house that could be completely opened, into one continuous space, when the client uses it alone. When her visitors show up, the sliding doors can be divided into different zones.
The social areas are placed in the middle of the house, while the sleepingrooms, and baths, are placed quiet from each other, in each end of the building. By slidingdoors, all rooms have separate entrance to terraces running in front of the house. The stepping in the façade-plan allows individual places for reading and concentration, though the central area of the terraces invites to larger social gathering. The stepping of the facades was also an important strategy for braking of wind which can be quite strong from the North-see.
As a result of the characteristic geology on the site, and the clients which for low maintenance, I choose mineral based materials for the building. Al floors and foundations are made of sitecasted concrete, while walls are made of brick. The brick is long, grey and horizontal and is meant to create a dialog with the old rock. The surrounding vegetation is dominated by oak-trees and it led to use oak as material for all interior and non-supporting walls inside the building. -Thanks to fantastic craftsmen and my Client.

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THE TREE MAG – The Fruits of Ideas