Knut Hjeltnes

MADSProsjekt Knut Hjeltnes

M A D S P r o s j e k t : Knut Hjeltnes i intervju med Tone Myskja

TM: Kan du fortelle oss litt om prosjektet du vil presentere for MADS Prosjekt?

KH: Prosjektet er en enebolig i Oslo. En typisk fortettingsoppgave i et etablert villastrøk. Med andre ord en trang tomt med begrensede kvaliteter. Løsningen forsøker selvsagt først og fremst å ”trylle” fram overraskende kvaliteter ved stedet, samtidig som vi prøver å fjerne de mindre attraktive sidene.

TM. Hvordan begynner prossessen med å  utvikle et nybygg, har du en fast arbeidsform eller er du åpen for nye ideer i forhold til hvert  sted?

KH: Det mest faste er at vi alltid starter med er å bruke tid på å diskutere med byggherrene hva som egentlig er oppgaven; dvs hva som ønskes kontra hva som er mulig og ønskelig. Når det gjelder arbeidsformen for øvrig varierer den for hver oppgave, vi forsøker å la hver oppgave være ny, og dermed justeres arbeidsformen. Noe er alltid likt likevel; vi bygger altid modeller, vi skisserer alltid og vi har alltid felles diskusjoner på kontoret.

TM: Hvilke kvaliteter er viktige for deg? Hva er et godt rom for deg? Og, finnes det en Knut Hjeltnes “filosofi” i forhold til arkitektur?

KH: Det er flere kvaliteter som er viktige; en grad av robusthet og en materialbruk som gjør at husene forhåpentligvis blir finere med tiden. Hus som evner å forsterke steders fine kvaliteter, om det ikke finnes andre kvaliteter, så finnes det i hvert fall dagslyset å arbeide med. En viss romlig spenning – dimensjoner er svært viktige. Slik kunne jeg fortsatt lenge…….Hva som er et godt rom avhenger av hva slags bruk det er tiltenkt; er det en langsomt rom (for eksempel et oppholdsrom i en bolig) er det i hvert fall viktig at det gir brukeren ”psykologisk le”. En Knut Hjeltnes filiosofi er altfor pretensiøst – men noen tanker finnes – og de utvikles heldigvis fortsatt…..

TM: Ser du på arkitektur som en kunstopplevelse?

KH: For meg er kunst og arkitektur to ulike verdener – selv om de både i arbeidsform og utrykksmidler kan ligne. Arkitektur er hele tiden knyttet opp mot bruk – dette er en avgjørende ulikhet.

TM: Jeg leste et sted at du er veldig opptatt av oppbevaring og det å finne en balanse mellom å skjule og vise gjenstander. Kan du si litt om det?

KH: Vi lever i en tid hvor vi som mennesker omgir oss med flere gjenstander enn noen gang tidligere. Dette kan ikke ignoreres – det fører til romlig kaos – mye mer interessant er det å se om dette ”problemet” kan benyttes til å utvikle nye arkitektoniske strategier. Vi tror også at det å skjule alle gjenstander både er naivt og for krevende å leve med. Vi har forsøkt dette i en del prosjekter og har

bl a utviklet en del prosjekter hvor vi benytter oppbevaring og andre svært faste funksjonelle enheter til å danne en romlig fasthet og karakter til de andre mer vage programmene (slik som for eksempel oppholdsrom). Huset som er vist her er et eksempel på denne strategien. Trapper, bad, wc, garderober, bibliotek, barskap, vaskerom, og kjøkkeninnredning danner til sammen en betongkropp som gjør at resten av huset ”renskes” og kan forbli tomme rom.

TM: Som velrenommert arkitekt med  lang fartstid i bransjen må du ha utviklet en stor sosial kompetanse i forhold til det å påvirke husbygger til å gå for dine ideer. Hvordan fungerer dette, prosessen mellom deg og utbygger?

KH: Det som ble nevnt ovenfor med henhold til det å finne ut hva vi egentlig skal forsøke å løse er en viktig forutsetning for samarbeidet. Dersom vi sammen med byggherren klarer å være presise i å formulere hva oppgaven går ut på – er det stor sannsynlighet for at vi klarer å løse oppgaven på en måte som byggherren liker. Dette er vel mitt naive svar på dette utrolig kompliserte spørsmålet…….

TM: Du har bygget hus med massivtre og har erfaringer med det som konstruksjon, hva synes du er mest positivt med det som byggmateriale?

KH: Selve følelsen av soliditet er en åpenbar kvalitet, likeså de nye konstruktive mulighetene. I tillegg er det miljømessig interessant både for inneklimaet, i fht fremtidig gjenbruk og i fht et totalt energiregnskap.

Se også: den nylig publiserte boka i as BUILT
HOUSE KOLLSTRØM/ØSTBERG KNUT HJELTNES ARKITEKTER

History of Commission

The clients, Anne Kari Kollstrøm and Kristian Østberg, were living in a two-family townhouse we designed some ten years ago, when they asked us to design their new home.
The site they had purchased was subdivided from a large prewar villa; almost 50 m deep, only 14 m wide. Laterally the site is very near to neighboring houses, while the two short ends are rather more liberated. The access to the plot is on the sunny southwest side, while northeast the site faces a small forest. The program is fairly conventional; a house for a couple and their two children with an additional small apartment for rent.
At the time of the commission the planning codes for the entire villa-areas of Oslo were heftily debated in the press and under reconsideration by the local authorities. The question of how to read and how to relate to the specific buildings surrounding a site was the most crucial focus of the debate. The Kollstrøm/Østberg house should be understood in this context.

Main architectural ideas
A building always has a set of tasks it tries to tackle, thus a set of ideas are developed to transform these tasks into architectural form and space. The pressure from the surrounding houses and the problem of accessing the house were the most important issues informing the project. The house is pulled back as much as possible from the road, establishing a garden towards the southwest. A carport with a narrow garden shed is sheltering the garden from the road. A fence along the southeastern border and a weeping willow will complete the situation, making the garden an almost fully enclosed space. To find the entrance of the house one has to walk almost 35 m from the road, partially along the garden. This situation could easily be experienced as very forced. By placing a carp pond along the access path, the garden remains undisturbed and the walk is made richer. The pond is just as wide that it feels unnatural to cross it.
The house is basically made up of two elements; a ruin-like concrete base and a folding timber element. The basic hierarchy in the plan lies between those elements where the use is easily described; stairs, bathrooms, storage, laundry; and the more unforeseen life of the sleeping and living rooms. The complex machinery of the easily described elements are cast in concrete thereby giving character to the more vague program of the main spaces, sheltered by timber elements. Between the timber elements and the volumes executed in concrete, voids appear where the house opens towards the most attractive views and towards the daylight.
The timber unfolds in three sections, admitting morning light through a façade otherwise closed both to provide privacy and fire protection. This operation also reduces the visual bulk of the house, almost reducing it to a pavilion-like structure seen from the road.

Interior
The entrance is a long narrow space, with doors in both ends. The wardrobe is open, “dug” into the concrete mass. Along the timber wall there is a bench, with room for shoes underneath. The cantilevered floor of the upstairs bathrooms leaves a narrow space along the wall and this gap is provided with light bulbs. Otherwise all the ceilings in the concrete volume are translucent plastic with hidden light fixtures.
The floor of the living room lays one step above that of the main entrance, marking different qualities in use and intimacy.
The living room can be entered via two passages, the main passage close to the entrance door, and the other one at the far end of the main entrance. The furthest passage serves as the laundry, directly connected to the kitchen. The main passage gives access to a guest toilet and to the stair leading upstairs. The main living room occupies the whole length of the ground floor, enabling visual contact with the forest, the garden and a small orchard to the northwest. A partially covered verandah mediates between the garden and the interior. The kitchen faces the forest, with a technical stainless steel island dividing the kitchen functions from the dining area. The living room is otherwise unarticulated and empty except for a concrete bench along the northwestern wall, which ends in a fireplace. There is also a fireplace opposite to the dining area. The material articulation of the living room is sparse and monochrome; polished concrete floor, sanded concrete walls, and fiber cement boards in the ceiling. The ceiling is articulated with perforation giving both artificial light and acoustic dampening.
The stair leading to the first floor is narrow but gentle; 140 mm / 360 mm, making ascendance both dramatic and easy. The stair leads to a secondary smaller living room overlooking the garden. A TV is hidden in the timber wall and black sliding doors towards west can be used to dim the daylight.
The first floor has a completely different atmosphere from downstairs. Floor, ceiling and outer walls are all of oak. The divisions between the smaller rooms are conventional stud walls clad with black painted gypsum boards. They can be dismantled in accordance to changing needs occurring during the life span of the house.
The windows of the children’s bedrooms are placed at floor level, both because children like to play on the floor, but also to lead the view towards the fruit trees below. The master bedroom is the final room on the first floor, facing the forest.
The two bathrooms on the first floor are part of the concrete volume, but also cantilevering eastwards. In addition, the concrete volume is containing the library, conveniently placed close to a small studio, and a loft for storage. This loft is reached via fold-down floors over the main stair. All built in furniture are in oak.

Outdoor
From the outside, the house reveals two main forms; the concrete “ruin”, and the folding timber element. The exterior concrete is left untreated, while sanded indoors. The formwork is a standard system with plywood panels and steel. Indoors the folded element is oak, while the exterior protective layer is fiber cement boards, the ends clad with untreated 5 mm thick aluminum. All fittings are in aluminum. The windows frames are executed in pine.
The retaining wall for the stair down to the small apartment is in rusted steel. So is the carp pond, which is clad with aluminum. The shape of the waterspout in stainless steel is derived from a series of considerations; to not hindering movement to the verandah, easy construction, rainwater replacing water in the pond and the wish for visual and audible impact from the rain. In some sense it turns annoyance into poetry.

Structural description
The concrete part of the house is partly double insulated, partly a single concrete wall insulated on the in- or outside. The folding timber element is spruce cross-laminated massive-wood with oak facing on one side on the walls and roof, while the floor between ground and first floor is conventional tier of joists with oak flooring. The roof of the massive-wood elements has overhead insulation with a membrane on top. The floor between basement and ground floor is made of 60mm concrete on top of concrete elements.

Description of heating system

The whole house has floor heating distributed via water pipes. Hot water is provided by heat-pump based on ground earth. Additionally the house has two fireplaces, one open and one closed. The closed one is centrally located, with steel chimney releasing much of the heat on its way out.

KOLLSTRØM/ØSTBERG
Byggets navn:enebolig Kollstrøm/Østberg
Adresse: Øvre Smestadvei 49b, Oslo
Byggherre:
Anne Kari Kollstrøm og Kristian Østberg
Arkitekt: Knut Hjeltnes AS sivilarkitekter MNAL v/ prof. siv.ark.MNAL Knut Hjeltnes
Medarbeidere: siv.ark. Øystein Trondahl, siv.ark.MNAL Nils Erik Hjorth Joneid, siv.ark. Nils Ole Bare Brandtzæg
Presentert i: Forum AID 4-07
Fotograf: Knut Hjeltnes og Sieglinde Muribø
Entreprenør: Damhaug og Gjermoe
Bygghåndverk AS Massivtre:
Moelven Massivtre AS
RIB: siv.ing. Terje Orlien