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Height, light and a Japanese vibe make a peaceful Norwegian retreat

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Line Solgaard Arkitekter’s weekend house in Frederikstad maintains a calm interior with the qualities of a Japanese temple, its oak lining and cedar cladding speaking back to the trees around it

Set on a low mountainside looking south to the sea about 200m away, this weekend house has an orthogonality that is, says Line Solgaard, a conscious attempt to counterpoint the man-made with the natural landscape around it. Perched at the top end of the site on a base of sharp, in-situ cast concrete steps and footings, it sits beside pines and oaks, leaving the terrain of huge, time-softened boulders below it to roll away to the shoreline.

The wood-fibre insulated timber structure is externally clad in cedar of differing widths and profile, sourced and cut locally, which creates ever-changing shadows with any sunlight that makes it past the geometric, oversailing roof. At the roof’s apex is a large central rooflight, offering summer ventilation and light throughout the home. Internally, the house is clad in oak, with a stepped profile ceiling that rises to the rooflight, a surface where light plays at all times of the day. The practice made sure to keep it free of any electrical installation, so the eye would not be distracted from the subtle ziggurat form.

  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
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Japanese temple-like qualities of the exterior have been echoed in an interior that seems more like a piece of homogenous cabinetry, rather than adhering to traditional notions of wall, floor or ceiling. And from the top of the stairs in the lantern, the conceit of clerestory lights to rooms around is revealed; letting even the coldest winter rays pour into the home.


Line Solgaard Arkitekter with Jan-Carlos Kucharek

  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Einar Aslaksen
  • Credit: Line Solgaard Arkitekter
  • Credit: Line Solgaard Arkitekter
  • Credit: Line Solgaard Arkitekter
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