Portfolio project
A family home in Jar

Thibaut Devulder

Long perspective across the living spaces in the remodelled home

We have just completed the extension and remodelling of a family apartment in Jar, a close suburb of Oslo.

Our clients wanted help to expand their family apartment on the upper floors of a two-family unit that had become too tight for their growing family. In particular, the main living space, which served as a kitchen, dining-room and living-room was over-crowded and awkwardly placed next to bedroom of their three year old daughter. Ancillary spaces were also impractical and a separate washroom was needed to free up space in the bathroom.

Having analysed the existing spaces, we understood that this small extension project could really unlock the potential of the whole house: creating a welcoming and accessible entrance, activating the unused circulation spaces and restoring the connection to the garden — all without increasing our clients’ initial budget.

Our design approach

The remodelled home

We wanted to create a feeling of spaciousness and diversity inside the apartment. This is achieved by opening long perspectives across the whole house, visually linking strings of distinct spaces along them.

A new porch shelters the approach to the house and frames the entrance to the new hallway, now with level access from the exterior. This view extends across the high ceiling space and through a glazed door, all the way to the pergola in the garden. To the side, a more subdued space links the wardrobes to the new washroom.

With the extension of the house, the preserved staircase is now located at the centre of the house and acts as a vertical axis serving four different sub-levels, between the ground and upper floors. These help breaking up the height into a series of separate, yet connected spaces, so that the different floors feel more unified into a whole.

This feeling of diversity is further echoed on the horizontal axis, with a long perspective across four distinct spaces on the upper floor — through the dining-room and the staircase, the new study and TV-room, eventually opening up to the evergreen vegetation outside.

The exterior of this extension integrates seamlessly with the existing structure of the house, both in volumes and materials. Yet, despite its modest scale, the addition of the extension restructures the house to give a sense of spaciousness and spatial diversity to the interior, creating a more flexible home for this family.

2hD really listened to our needs and ideas. And they managed to integrate them in their design thinking to completely transform our apartment.

We didn’t expect this project to have such an impact on how we experience our home. It used to feel like a small apartment. Now it feels like a spacious house!
— Per Noring, client

A tree house by Østensjøvannet

Thibaut Devulder

The observation tower of the “tree house”, poking over the highest terrace of the garden

Some photos of the landscaping project we completed two years ago close to Østensjø, a natural reserve in Oslo.

The central piece of this project was a staircase that dovetailed the different exterior spaces around a private house, overlooking the lake from a steep rock face. Spiralling among the rocks covered with lush vegetation, this timber stair also doubles as an observation tower and secret hiding “tree house” for the children.

Illustrations for a new court house

Thibaut Devulder
Approaching the new courthouse in Eidsvoll (design by Besseggen Arkitekter)

Approaching the new courthouse in Eidsvoll (design by Besseggen Arkitekter)

Continuing our collaboration with Besseggen Arkitekter, we have produced a series of illustrations to present a new court house project to the municipality of Eidsvoll, Norway.

This ambitious project, designed by Besseggen, aims at gathering on the same site the different courthouses of the region as well as a new police station, cradling the site of the old train station on the bank of the Vorma river.

Thanks to an efficient design workflow developed by Besseggen, we were able to produce inspiring illustrations based on their BIM model at an early stage of the design process.

These images were used to present the project to the local community and gather political support, before the Norwegian Court Administration takes a decision later on this year on the future location of the new regional courthouse.

Creating a roof garden in central Oslo

Thibaut Devulder

We have just been exploring alternative options to create a terraced garden on the roof of an existing residential block in central Oslo. Our clients — a housing cooperative — wanted to create outdoor social spaces that could be used by all residents and accessed with minimum alterations to the existing building.

Coordinating with the builder, a structural engineer and a fire engineer, we developed three alternative sketch design approaches with various level of complexity and size, each complete with an outline budget, scope of work and timescale.

These design approaches will be reviewed on their annual meeting by the residents and, once a preferred options is selected, we will be proceeding with the detailed design and planning application for the project over the summer.

The existing roof terrace, currently not accessible.

The existing roof terrace, currently not accessible.

Design concept for a fire station

Thibaut Devulder

Concept design visualisation of our future fire station in Såner, Norway, with its public facing core building and connected modular fire engine halls at the back.

I have been collaborating this last week with Besseggen Arkitekter (with whom we are sharing our new office in Oslo), developing a design strategy for a new fire station in Vestby, Norway.

The competition brief called for an easily extendable building, with a strong focus on personnel safety. I have prepared this sketch concept view, together with diagrams explaining our design approach to address these points. Using a construction strategy based on modular plug-in elements with identical folded structure roofs, each module can be easily connected to the station as it expands in the future, supplementing both additional capabilities and associated staff accommodation to the facilities.

The design strategy diagrams we prepared for the competition

New office in Oslo on Akersbakken 37

Thibaut Devulder

We have just moved our Norwegian office to a new workspace in central Oslo, in the Gamle Aker neighbourhood!

 

We are excited to share this new office space with three other architecture studios: Besseggen ArkitekterSKAANE arkitektur+ and Don Lawrence.

After six years at Sommerrogata 17, our former office space is now closed for renovation. And we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the talented people who shared that vibrant space with us, for all the fruitful collaborations and good laughs!

Pop by and say hello at our new address:

2hD Norway
Akersbakken 37A
0172 Oslo

Portfolio project
A feasibility study for the housing development in Oslo

Thibaut Devulder

In this project, we helped a housing developer unlock the potential of a complex site in the beautiful neighbourhood of Nordstrand, in Oslo. Bringing together our skills in site analysis and visualisation, we designed and presented alternative development strategies for the site, helping the developer and the site owner to build architecture that is both inspiring and financially viable.

A visualisation of the site with sun access at different season, as part of our site anany

A visualisation of the site with sun access at different season, as part of our site anany

A view of the site before development, with its mature trees and steep north-facing rocky slope at the back

Surrounding by elegant villas with fantastic views to Oslo Fjord, the undeveloped site had a complex topography, with a north-facing rocky slope dropping 11 meter drop across the site, overgrown with several large mature trees.

This unusual configuration made the site unsuitable for standard off-the-shelf housing solutions. So the developer asked us to assess the viability of a development and to bring in some creative thinking to showcase the potential of the site to the site owner.

Analysing the site

Using available topographic information and photos, we started by creating a 3D model of the site landscape and its surrounding, which would serve as the basis for our analysis and presentation.

The various layers of planning regulations for the site were then analysed and compiled into a clear set of constraints applying to the project. The surrounding architectural context was also carefully taken into consideration, so that the development would not only integrated with the landscape, but also related meaningfully with the existing architectural language and scale of the residential area.

Our visual representation of the constraints on the complex site considerably simplified the decision-making process for the developer

Identifying viable development options and their planning consequences

Presenting these constraints visually, together with topographic and climatic data, we summarised a set of alternative scenarios for the development, each with the associated areas, possible building forms, parking and access requirements and consequences on the potential complexity of the planning process.

With all information clearly summarised, the developer could easily review the options — weighing costs versus complexity of the required planning process — to select an optimal development scale matching his financial and marketing approach.

Thinking with the landscape

With the project scale now clearly defined (in our case, three single family units), we proceeded with structuring the site and developed alternative architectural strategies based on this scenario.

Our focus was on preserving the natural feel of the site, making the most of the existing topography and vegetation to create attractive outdoor spaces with extensive access to the sun for a large part of the year, despite the awkward orientation of the site.

The dwellings were articulated around the different levels of the landscape to minimise groundworks on the site, preserve the existing trees and promote accessibility.

Their volumes were laid out to reduce self-shading of the garden areas, balancing open communal outdoor areas with more private garden spaces linked to each dwelling, framing view from the living spaces and preserving a feeling of privacy from neighbours.

Taking an informed decision

The result was five alternative architectural strategies that could be presented to the developer to the site owner.

We organised our presentation around clear diagrams that visually summarised each strategy, with site plans, massing perspectives and outline dwelling organisations. so that the site owner — who had no previous experience in development — could appreciate the potential of the site and take inform decisions about its future.

Photography: Colosseum Mann hospital, by Montaag

Thibaut Devulder

Some images from my photoshoot of the Colosseum Mann hospital, in Oslo, recently redesigned by the very talented team at Montaag, a multidisciplinary design studio based in Norway and California.

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Why a staircase, when you can have a treehouse?

Thibaut Devulder

A client have just sent us some photos of the finished staircase we have designed for her house.

We designed this little structure to provide access from the upper terraces of the house down to the garden space. Since the garden was also a prime spot for children play, we designed the staircase wrapped around a “treehouse”, in which the children can hide and play, or take a fun shortcut climb back home!

Photography: Nordisk Film & TV Fond

Thibaut Devulder

Some images from my photoshoot of the office interior at the Nordic Film & TV Fond in Oslo, freshly redesigned by Kubik Interiørarkitekter.

Photography: Akersbakken 12

Thibaut Devulder

A photoshoot of Kubik's latest interior design, on Oslo's riverside. 

Portfolio project
Between a house and a cliff

Thibaut Devulder
The staircase/treehouse, dovetailing the different outdoor spaces, as seen from the garden entrance

The staircase/treehouse, dovetailing the different outdoor spaces, as seen from the garden entrance

For this small landscaping project, we were approached by our clients who have just bought and refurbished a house overlooking Østensjø, a large lake on the outskirts of Oslo.

Located on an elevated spot, the house and its west terraces enjoyed wonderful open views to the neighbouring lake (Østensjø). As a counterpoint, the rest of the outdoor spaces were tucked on a very tight site, terraced over three different levels and have been neglected in the recent years. A 8-metre high cliff backed the property to the east, overgrown with wild vines and bergenias, creating a lush cascade of vegetation and rocks.

Our client asked us to outline a strategy for making the best use of the tight exterior spaces, spread over three terraces, and organise them so that both adult activities and children play could blend together harmoniously.

The “cliff” of vegetation at the back of the property, with its lush vegetation cascading down the rocks.

The “cliff” of vegetation at the back of the property, with its lush vegetation cascading down the rocks.

Carefully analysing the existing opportunities offered by this intricate space, we designed a string of private and social spaces around the house, each with its unique feeling — from serene and secluded to social and vibrant— articulated by a central winding stair that doubled as a playful “tree house”.

We will be following up the work on site with our clients, impatiently awaiting the children’s feedback on their new playhouse! In the meantime, here are a few of drawings from our design process.


Photography: Kubik's Nedre slottsgata

Thibaut Devulder

A new photoshoot forKubik Interiør Arkitekter: a newly redesigned staircase in Oslo's city centre.

Photography: UGG showroom

Thibaut Devulder

I have just completed another photoshoot with interior architects Kubik, this time to photograph their recent refurnishing of a showroom for the uber-trendy shoe designer UGG, in Oslo.

Assembly manual for custom-designed furniture

Thibaut Devulder

In the summer cabin we redesigned on the Oslo fjord, we articulated the main living space with an open screen that had to perform many functions: create a light visual separation within the open plan space, provide storage for outdoor clothing and shoes for up to ten guests, integrate a large TV and offer seating in front of the new wood stove.

We finalised the design of this custom-made furniture as the project was already on site and decided to build it out the same oak bench plates used for the new kitchen. We created detailed instructions for the builder about how to make and assemble this large piece of furniture. Our instructions even included the detailed cutting patterns to minimise waste from the standard benchtop boards used to make it!