Unit 2-3F: (Nordic) Vernacular Workshop
Mathias Gaardsted Braae
Tina Julianne Marzano
Phuong Uyen Nguyen
Gard Meisingseth Rognes
Loft House| 1754
The ‘Lofthus’ is not a living residence, but a single, congregation building for special occasions and meetings within a Norwegian tun or farm-tun (village). The farm-tun consists of a cluster of buildings organised around a central gathering place which was often used for trading. All buildings stood separately in case of fires since all the buildings were made out of timber and turf. This was particularly important for the loft and cage which often contained the seed for the next year’s crops.
‘The loft’ is a timber construction building type that most likely developed in the early medieval period with its characteristic extended galleries. It was usually the most significant building in the settlement and is often considered the symbol of the Norwegian medieval architecture due to its distinctive shape. It contains a small first floor called the cage and a cantilevered second floor called the loft. The first floor was used for storage of grains and seeds, while the second floor was a room for greeting guests and other special occasions. The façade was often rich in ornaments symbolising wealth and power and could be found in farm clusters in the inland of Norway.
Clustering environmental strategies
Understanding how a settlement can increase sustainability
There are many sustainable aspects which can be appropriated from the Norwegian vernacular settlements. This includes how the buildings are situated in the landscape and close to resources. Structures were raised off the ground, which means they are adjustable to different terrains; forest supply not only the building materials but also act as a shelter and protection from cold winds. Many of these principles can be seen in this contemporary example through the use of timber, how they are placed on the land and the arrangement of individual buildings in a community tun pattern.
Tungestølen Hiking Cabin / Snøhetta
Luster Municipality, Norway| 2019
The layers of passive heating
Rethinking the façade to improve passive heating and environmental conditions
The different layers of the Norweigian ‘Lofthus’ illustrate different principles of how the construction and arrangement of walls as well as thermal zoning can create unique heating and insulting experiences. Air pockets in the buffer spaces between the exterior and interior walls create an alternative way to insulate. This is exemplified in a contemporary Swedish example where they a glass exterior façade forms a greenhouse around a second interior wooden façade to trap warm air and reduce the need for heating and improving the thermal comfort of the spaces which are occupied.
Naturhus / Bengt Warne
Stockholm, Sweden | 1974
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