Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen
The new weekend house replaces a warehouse that was washed to sea in a storm.
Buliding in the coastal zone in Norway is challenging in general, but in this case it was made even more complicated by the architectural double coding: the new building replaces an old warehouse that was washed ashore in a storm in 1992, but it also has to work as a modern weekend house with all modern comforts. Our intention has been that when the building is unoccupied it should look like any seaside warehouse, but that it changes its skin when in use.
Sildegarnsholmen is a tiny island, and flood levelstides can reduce it to less than half size. The harsh local climate and the xpectation of even stronger future storms have been crucial design considerations, to the degree that water can penetrate the ground floor without causing damage.
The ground floor comprises both insulated and uninsulated spaces. There is room to store wet suits, fishing nets, sails etc, to clean fish and make food, and room to curl up in the sofa in front of the fireplace and watch and listen to the sea outside the window. The inside spaces on the ground føloor are bounded by steel and glass walls.
On the level above, four timber volumes have been inserted, containg the more intimate spaces: four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a mediaroom. Extra distance is created by splitting the upper level in two parts, accessed by separate staircases. The attic is a large uninsulated storage space, which can also be used for parties or guests.
The main structure consistes of seven steel frames, achored to a concrete plinth cast onto the old stone foundations. The steel structure is protected by an uninsulated timber facade that incorporates a number of hinged and sliding panels. The landward side of the building has the hinged screens, which can be opened to give shelter from the always present wind.
The complete building was constructed on land at Ulsteivik, shipped two nautical miles on a crane barge, and lifted into place on the island.