Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

An Architect’s Dream Commission in Norway

Search

An Architect’s Dream Commission in Norway

July 3, 2012

Just out of architecture school in 1970, Jürgen Kiehl landed an architect’s dream commission—a summer house on the most remote and exposed tip of Hanko, an island 60 miles south of Norway for a newly wed couple; Kiehl and his wife Kari Holm.

Conceived of as a village, the original house is comprised of distinctive units whose shed-style, single pitched roofs reflect the seminal forms of Sea Ranch, built in the late 1960s on the coast of Northern California. Working with the landscape, the house is built on rocks that are 800 million years old. The kitchen, where everyone comes together, was given prime location at the center of the house, on the highest rock with the best views—the way it should be.

Photography by Pia Ulin via Dwell.

norwegian wood pia ulin 08 jpeg

Above: Holm and Kiehl sit on the deck outside the kitchen, enjoying the view from their island outpost.

norwegian wood pia ulin 01 jpeg

Above: The Beatle's song "Norwegian Wood" refers to the inexpensive pine that was a popular building material in the 1960s and 1970s. A simply detailed stair/ladder leads upstairs to a bedroom.

norwegian wood pia ulin 03 jpeg

Above: Cork tiles, another popular material of the 1970s, lines the floors.

norwegian wood pia ulin 05 jpeg

Above: "Norwegians have always returned to the land, and lived primitively part of the year at their cottages," says Kiehl. "But that tradition is in danger. Today, people want comforts. They want the Internet and heated floor tiles."

norwegian wood pia ulin 04 jpeg

Above: Ten years ago, the couple decided they wanted their master bedroom to be on the first floor; Kiehl built it in the shape of a boat so as not to compete with the original structure.

norwegian wood pia ulin 07 jpeg

Above: In 1976, Kiehl built three more one-sided shed-like units to add to his house village; a sauna, an office, and a sleeping room.

norwegian wood pia ulin 06 jpeg

Above: Norwegians like to spend as much time outdoors in the summer as possible (don't forget, their summers are short). Because of the exposure on the tip of the island, Kiehl designed the house so that there would always be shelter from the wind. For every indoor space, there is a corresponding outdoor space ensuring that the house receives sunlight throughout the course of the day.

norwegian wood pia ulin 02 jpeg

Above: The surrounding prehistoric Norwegian landscape is one the couple knows well. They navigate their way down to their boat dock by heart, even in the dark.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0