Location: Sør-Fron, Norway
Area: 149 sqm / 1,605 sqft
Hesselbrand is an international architectural studio established by Martin Brandsdal, Magnus Casselbrant, and Jesper Henriksson in 2014, with offices in London and Oslo. Their work includes a wide spectrum of arts, cultural, hospitality, and residential projects, spanning a range of scales from interiors and temporary installations to new build houses and multi-story buildings.
Recent projects include the re-design and major renovation of a hotel and art foundation in Tuscany (Villa Lena), a global concept for flagship stores and temporary retail spaces for a fashion brand (1017 ALYX 9SM), a 200 bedroom hotel and spa in Ticino, Switzerland (Acquarossa), a co-living housing project in Sweden (Rooms House), a high-end holiday home in Norway (Heggesaetra), and a fine art gallery in London (Soho Revue Gallery). In 2016, Hesselbrand delivered the exhibition design for the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale (Home Economics).
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Heggesætra House is a private vacation home in Norway located in the mountainous region of Sør-Fron, three hours north of Oslo. The house is composed of three distinguishable buildings of different sizes which form external courtyards surrounding the building. The four-bedroom house is all on one level with carefully designed visual links across the courtyards, making it possible for the users to choose how social or private they would like to be.
The house is constructed by prefabricated and pre-cut structural timber elements. The exterior walls are clad in a charred, brushed, and oiled ore-pine, similar to traditional Norwegian stave churches. This ancient method of charring the facade provides naturally sustainable weather protection for the timber. The interior walls are clad in a contrasting light oiled pine, and the floors are finished in ash and concrete.
The various types of fixed furniture (i.e. kitchen, beds, and storage units) are built-in grey lacquered MDF and birch plywood. The precise detailing gives the building a contemporary expression whilst the use of timber cladding on both exterior and interior, in combination with the large gable roofs, creates a connection to timeless regional building traditions.
The constraints placed on the project due to its location forced the buildings to be constructed using solar energy as the primary source of electricity. This made it necessary for the practice to use the latest, advanced solar panels that are more efficient than standard ones. The same panels that were used to build the house now serve as its main source of energy.
In this project, the whole site is considered a space for living, which allows each space to have its own unique quality, both inside and outside. The plan of the house both unites individual spaces and establishes distance in between them. The orientation and form are the results of different types of use between the intimate and open spaces and a desire to make the most of the varying quality of light and views that the site has to offer.
The house has been designed to accommodate socially flexible situations and privacy at the same time. Each part of the house answers to particular needs, whilst providing spaces that are open-ended in their use through generous dimensions and ceiling heights. This allows the house to accommodate a greater variety in use in order to meet our growing needs for both privacy and flexibility.