A historic farm with pristine views of Oslo Fjord has found an extremely modern way to preserve a protected site. A new house designed for the family living on the farm has been embedded under a green roof to make it almost invisible from the road. Outside the back wall of ground-level windows, a pool deck follows the topography of the natural terrain to the fjord in the distance. This creates a seamless connection between soil and water.
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Villa Aa is both an office and a home. On the northwest side, the building has a main entrance that lies at the bottom of a path that leads from the parking area along the road. A second entrance enters with a staircase through a courtyard. On the south side looking away from the main entrance, the back wall of the house is made entirely of glass panels with incredible views.
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A formal lounge, kitchen and three bedrooms overlook the outdoor spaces at the rear. A family living room facing west towards the house is located next to the bathrooms. An office area, which serves as a guest room, faces east. Many rooms have skylights through the green roof for maximum natural lighting.
However, it is not just a green roof. The roof of Villa Aa is a walkable extension of the front lawn. Behind the house, where the green roof ends, a terrace and garden courtyard have two water features. One is a modern rectangular pool, and the smaller pool houses aquatic plants and collects rainwater.
How do you build a home and office as unique as Villa Aa? Concrete was the main building material, mostly to match a concrete shed on the farm. The columns and beams are made of steel, but wood with a smoky and varnished finish has also been used on many surfaces. These materials give the house a polished and sleek medieval modern look that contrasts with the ancient farm and surrounding land while still blending into the surroundings. Cedar panels on the outside heat the outside of the house. Floors inside are polished concrete to match the outdoor terrace, which extends the impression of a space that flows from the house to outdoor living space to the fjord outside.
+ CF Moller Architects
Images by Ivar Kvaal