Self-build house on a Norwegian hillside

By Thibaut, on

The single-family house we designed on a hillside of Eidsvoll, in Norway, is now under construction by our self-builder client. Created as two wings intersecting with the landscape, the design reconciled our clients' wishes for both discrete privacy and openness to the surrounding woodlands.

Sketch impression of the house with its two intersecting wings, from which the terraces cascade into the forest

Moving out of their current undersized house in the same town, the family wanted to settle on one of the plots owned by the family (we helped the client masterplan this area back in 2011). The plot is situated on an ideally oriented hillside with woodlands at its doorstep and great views to the surrounding countryside.

We designed the family house to clearly separate public spaces receiving visitors (including a small home office) and the more private parts of the house. These two realms are organised in separate wings, articulated by two intersecting gables. At this intersection, an open atrium links the two levels and a sheltered outdoor porch opens up towards the adjacent woodlands to the south-west, stepping down into the landscape through a series of cascading terraces.

Interior view of the atrium, at the intersection of the two wings (Photo @ Caroline Prøven Brohaug)

The external form of the house also responded to the height restrictions of the local planning rules and the steep site slope. Despite the site steepness, the house benefits from a full wheelchair access to all key functions of the home.

Privacy from the existing neighbouring apartment building (also owned by the client) was preserved by vertical timber fins along the facade, framing the views and giving a common vocabulary to the different elevations.

Foundation and groundworks are almost completed and the timber superstructure (insulated with natural cellulose fibres) will be completed before the first snow, at the end of November.