Each unit is raised above ground by a set of small pillars (4 cm in diameter) which perforate the rock without having to redistribute the soil, as standard buildings with foundations do, to preserve the existing vegetation. The structure permits a free floorplan which is not conditioned by differences in the level of the ground. The walls are made of pine panels protected on the outside with an iron sulphate treatment which tones down their natural colour and stained on the inside. The wooden walls are interrupted by one or two large glass walls that allow the landscape to come inside. The walls are all different, the result of the arrangement of infill and windows to isolate guests from the view of the other units around them and immerse them completely in the experience of nature. The wooden walls eliminate the difference between inside and outside, and the mirror effect on the glass multiplies the images of nature to completely camouflage the buildings in the landscape.
The Valldøla River flows through a deep gulley in the rocks, the perpetual erosion of which has formed an evocative rock face culminating in Gudbrandsjuvet waterfall, famous all over Norway. In autumn a huge mass of water flows down from the glaciers, its sound echoing throughout the valley. Large numbers of tourists come to this place, and in 2003 Jensen & Skodvin were asked to design a project enhancing appreciation of the natural setting with a lookout, bridges, a service centre and the Åndalsnes panoramic hotel.
by Mara Corradi
Architecture and landscaping: Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor as (Jan Olav Jensen, Børre Skodvin con Torunn Golberg, Helge Lunder, Torstein Koch; Thomas Knigge)
Structural engineering: Finn Erik Nilsen
Client: Private client
Location: Gudbrandsjuvet, Norway
Surface area of each unit: 25 mq
Project start date: 2003
Completion of construction: 2008
Glass façades: Norske Metallfasader AS
Pine wall and floor coverings: Martinsons Tre AS
Photographs: Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor