A traditional timber log house, tucked high in the mountains of Oppdal, Norway – but with a twist. The primary
architects (Einar Jarmund, Hakon Vigsnaes, Alessandra Kosberg, Nikolaj Zamecznik and Claes Cho Heske Ekornas of JVA) had a unique expression of how the logs conjoin – not in one single style, but in two. The main building features logs that have been profiled with custom-milled interlocking joints, while the annex structure has been partially built with the off-cuts stacked and mortared – in a fashion similar to brick construction.
Aside from using contemporary techniques to build a traditional log home, the architects also modernized the structure with an elevated concrete base wall and large expanses of glazings, thereby creating a visual connectivity to the landscape.
With panoramic mountain views, the glazings are an integral part of the home’s design and are mounted between the intersecting joints of the logs.
Appropriately named “Log House”, the home is placed on the upper section of a sloped site. The foundation wall is elevated to allow for height differences within the land and the roof and decks are constructed of massive wood timbers.
A suspended glazing at the far side of the porch acts as a windbreaker from the chilly mountain breezes.
As functional as this glass windbreaker is, it is also a beautiful modernist expression.
On a sunny, albeit chilly, afternoon – what better place then this to sit and enjoy the snow covered landscape to the south.
From the ground level terrace, the entrance leads to a hall, passing a large closet area and wine cellar, then the technical room, a bathroom and the stairwell before opening up to a creative room and living room. At the far end of this level are the guest and children’s bedrooms as well as a cellar. The main feature within this zone is a free standing wood stove just in front of the stairwell.
The tubular fireplace has almost the same diameter as the logs within the home’s walls and this similarity creates an immediate connection between two completely different elements.
The fireplace is positioned so that its flu can soar up through the void created by the stairwell. In doing so, it makes a grand statement easily visible through the glass balustrade.
The glass balustrade on the mezzanine level also allows for an unobstructed view through the stairwell window.
The upstairs is where the social zone is located. The kitchen island is beside the stairwell and the dining, living and library areas are off to the left. On the far right is the master suite.
The kitchen is designed with two zones. The island with a cooktop and sink is positioned in the social area. The second zone consisting of storage, fridge and second sink is contained within an adjacent room that has frosted glass sliding panels to close it off.
The master suite has the same frosted glass doors to separate the sleeping area from the ensuite.
The annex offers additional living space and is positioned on the lower side of the home’s courtyard. The choice to clad the ends of the annex in a brick and mortar pattern created with the timber off cuts – and the odd glass light tunnel – gives this structure its individuality.
The glass light tunnels have a beach glass aesthetic when combined with the slices of logs.
The home’s garage is also located in the annex and is positioned behind a wall of corrugated plastic mounted in front of a 2×10 shelving system.
The juxtaposition of the planed lumber against the rows of log slices combined with the linear aspects of the corrugated plastic creates an interesting geostyle dynamic.
The annex contains a compact living space heated by a freestanding wood stove.
A hallway leads off of the compact living space to sleeping quarters located behind the frosted glass panels, and a bathroom on the other side.
The bedroom features bunk beds with storage beneath. Both the annex and the main structure of Log House are sustainably constructed due to their quick assemblage by local builders using local materials.
Jarmund / Vigsnaes Architects
Photos: Nils Petter Dale