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Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen

Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen by Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter, 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.

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-02-Knut-Hjeltnes-759x569 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

© Knut Hjeltnes

“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. We are allowed to erect a new building with the same volume. The new building is completely anonymous when not in use, but transforms when it is inhabited. 7 steel frames establish the main construction. Four wooden boxes are hung in these frames, and it is all covered in a timber envelope.” – Knut Hjeltnes

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-03-Knut-Hjeltnes-759x537 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

© Knut Hjeltnes

Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter:

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.

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-04-Knut-Hjeltnes-759x537 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

© Knut Hjeltnes

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.

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-lower-floor-plan-848x1200 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

lower floor plan – © Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

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.

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-section-848x1200 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

section – © Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

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.

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-construction-process-759x537 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

construction process – © Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

The complete building was constructed on land at Ulsteivik, shipped two nautical miles on a crane barge, and lifted into place on the island.

Weekend-House-at-Sildegarnsholmen-By-Knut-Hjeltnes-Arkitekter-05-Knut-Hjeltnes-759x542 Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter

© Knut Hjeltnes

Project Data:

Project name: Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen
Location: Sildholmen, 6094 Leinøy, Norway
Coordinates: 62.359688, 5.629855

  • Type By Characteristic: Cabin / Hut / Cottage, Holiday House
  • Type By Site: Island House
  • Type By Size: Small House – (51 sqm – 200 sqm)
  • Type By Materials: Wooden House

Floor count: 3
Site area: 710 sqm
Usable floor area: 161 sqm
Project Period: 2012 – 2016
Status: Built, Completed
Completion Year: 2016


  • 2017 – Mies van der Rohe Awards – Shortlist

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Peter and Marianne Straume

Structural engineering: Finn-Erik Nilsen

Text Description: © Courtesy of Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter
Images: © Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter


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Weekend House at Sildegarnsholmen / Knut Hjeltnes Arkitekter
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