The modest size of the plot in Grimstad, Norway made it necessary for the architects to tailor-make a house for a retired couple at Vardåsen, Grimstad between some old existing trees and as close to the road on the west side and towards north as possible.
The house is overlooking the city and fjords towards south from the 1.st floor, with a compact garden and natural forest towards west. The house is prepared for ground floor wheelchair use, so it was important to cultivate short distance, local qualities, views and natural light for this floor.
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Tailormade House for Retired Couple in Norway
The main intention of the Vardåsen House project was to create an affordable and efficient building, which makes the most of a small site and spectacular views towards the city and the fjords.
“Each square meter of the outside area had to be fully utilized. We measured the terrain with ten centimeters of accuracy,” says architect Stian Schjelderup in Oslo studio Schjelderup Trondahl Architects.
The organization of the daily living rooms connects to a fluid outdoor space, imposing that the site is much bigger than it really is. The views stretch over a grass field all the way up to the beautiful ridge and deciduous forest some distance away – psychologically making it into a private space.
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This house in the Norwegian city of Grimstad features a brick base supporting a wedge-shaped timber roof that incorporates a balcony overlooking the nearby fjords. A garage also serves as a barrier towards the neighbor towards north, garden shed and workshop in addition to the obvious house for cars.
“The expanded view is a free area that will remain forest for the foreseeable future,” says Scjelderup. “No more houses will be built on the protected land on the western side.”
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Changing experiences when moving around
The internal spacial arrangement makes the house dynamic and transparent, creating personal spaces and changing experiences when moving around. The southern light streams into the core of the house from the bedroom windows, through the internal glass connecting the double height living room to the 1.st. floor. The fluid space is gently revealing what you might find on the 1.st floor. The southern wall is a bag-plastered brick wall all the way to the roof, visually holding the 1.st floor body cantilevering towards the fjords.
The house was built in 2015.
Tailormade House for Norwegian Retired Couple, text description provided by the architects.
Photography: Jonas Adolfsen