House in a shell

Dikehaugen 12 in Trondheim, Norway by August Schmidt

BYMARKA IS AN area of forest just outside Trondheim. The planning rules are strict for anyone who wants to build here: discreet colours, single-storey and max 100 square metres of internal living space. However, these proved the perfect conditions for architect August Schmidt’s dream project – a simple family home that offers an alternative to today’s streamlined construction methods.

Behind the façade’s untreated pine shingles is a 1.4 metre thick air gap that provides an extra protective shell. This is then followed by a 35 centimetre thick structural wooden frame that is timber-clad internally. The walls are insulated with cellulose. The design brings the building up to the Passive House standard. Daylight enters through niches, or rather tunnels, through the air gap. To minimise maintenance, all the wood has been left untreated. The little hut that occupied the site originally has been furnished with a similar air gap and shingle façade to the main house, and is now a sauna.«


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