A House to Die In
Art becomes architecture
It all starts in 2011 when the Norwegian artist, Bjarne Melgaard, reaches out to Olav and Frederik Selvaag with the idea of making a sculpture that would double as a house. Having a long tradition of supporting Norwegian artists, the Selvaag brothers adhere to the idea. Shortly after, Snøhetta gets involved in the project. The artist and the architects exchanged thoughts, drawings, 3D models and documents to co-create a house that could function as Melgaard’s private residence and atelier.
The building is clad with black, burned oak, inspired by Japanese building traditions. The burnt oak will naturally erode over time so that the building gradually changes character throughout the years and seasons. A shallow water pond below the building creates an illusion of a «floating» building.
Melgaard’s drawings are projected back onto the geometrical façades. The colors translate into imprints that are cast back onto the façades. While subtle and translucent colors provide a light imprint into the façades, saturated colors break through the material entirely, inviting light into the building. For the first time, the architecture describes an artistic expression.
On the inside of the building, Melgaard’s artistic universe and home concept complement each other perfectly. While one of the rooms could function both as swimming pool and dining room, another could function as workspace and spa. These untraditional pairings are a direct symbol of how conventions are prevented from influencing the building’s usage or design.
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