Located in Vestfold, Norway, Rock House is a 300m2 summer home designed by Einar Jarmund, Hakon Vigsnaes, Jan Stavik and Nikolaj Zamecznik of JVA Architects. Rock House replaces an older home that previously occupied the site and some of the pre-existing stonewalls were incorporated, while others have been formed out of the rock formations created by blasting on the site during construction. The final result of landscape and architecture is in complete harmony with the surrounding land and seascapes.
In order to obtain building permits, Rock House was required to blend harmoniously within its landscape not only with material and color choices but also by shape and scale.
The Kebony wood facade has been treated to allow for durability and long life despite its constant exposure to wind-borne salt from the sea.
The low and elongated footprint of the home has been cut to create outdoor zones that are sheltered from the ocean winds. This same meandering of the facade helps settle the structure into the surrounding cliff formation.
On the ocean side of the home there are terraces – and a pool – wrapped with a tempered glass rail system. This allows the views to permeate the outdoor zones while creating a buffer from wind at the same time.
Steps have been carved into the rock face for beach access.
The terrace and pool are positioned within the man-made stone wall next to the boulder’s steps. At the far end of the terrace, a pair of glass French doors opens up to a hallway before arriving at the social zone.
Next to the French doors on the terrace is an open passage that leads past a sauna to the front of the home.
Inside the home, the kitchen and dining area are positioned to take advantage of the panoramic views. A void within the exterior footprint creates a visual connectivity to the immediate landscape.
Cladding the floors and ceilings in wood helps to blur the distinction between the outdoor and indoor zones.
The outdoor patio next to the dining zone has a wall on its far side that contains the living room. The wall blends seamlessly with the boulders thanks to the natural patina of the wood siding.
The outdoor patio is the top of one of the large boulders. To level it out, smaller blasted rock has been mortared into position and grouted.
The living room is positioned on the far end of the home and has windows on two sides. The end windows are positioned directly over a contemporary fireplace – designed as a long tapering concrete niche, with a glass screen and barely visible chimney flue on one end.
While the fireplace incorporates a minimalist aesthetic, it makes a powerful statement.
The architects where able to create a continuous connection to the landscape with their clever meandering of the home’s footprint within the social zone.
Directly across from the kitchen, positioned against the front of the home, is the children’s bedroom. This room, like all the rest of the bedrooms, has its own ensuite.
The children’s bedroom is designed with a storage headboard dividing two beds – each with a pull out trundle bed beneath.
Another bedroom is just behind the dining room and its ensuite is back to back with the children’s bathroom. The two bathrooms have identical layouts and fixtures with their showers appearing to be against an exterior wall, but in fact are both against the interior walls.
A niche within the facade of the home creates a private patio off the bedrooms.
Two additional bedrooms are located beside the kitchen on either side of the hallway that leads to the outdoor terrace and pool. The bedroom directly beside the kitchen is the master suite, while the one across from it is a guest bedroom.
Jarmund / Vigsnaes Architects
Photos: Nils Petter Dale