The Terje Moe Hus

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The common space, (Moe, 1984)

The house built on Bygdøy, Oslo, is a reverence to Terje Moe’s ideology of habitation. The ‘Kube hus’, as the house is called, was built in 1977. Moe constructed the building himself in one-year. Regarding this, he states: “Much of the work had to be done under bad weather conditions, but the experience of outdoor space gradually becoming indoor space with your own body, is I believe a lesson all architects should go through.”(Moe, 1982) Moe was an architect and an engineer. He  had his own office for brief period, from 1970-1976, but mainly taught as professor at the Norwegian Institute of Technology and at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.

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1. The Site

The site is a small plot squeezed in between the big plots of Bygdøy. The size is approximately 10 by 30 meters and has an elevation of 12 meters. The elevation makes the site face north.

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2. The House

The building finds its measurements in the difficulty of the site. Building his own house, Moe tried to solve what in his eyes was the malfunction of the contemporary housing of the time. Families in those houses live in separate rooms, which are secluded from the shared functions. He wanted to create a building, which solved this problem and created a social awareness of the people you are living with.

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3. The Base

The foundation for the building is the concrete block shell, which partly digs into the slope. Moe states that there is 3-piece realm in architecture: The first realm is the earth, which is this base. The second is the so-called ‘Midgard’ the place where people live. The last realm is the heaven, which is translated in the roof terrace.

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4. The Canopy

The wood structure placed on the base, encloses the living space. It is as Moe says: ‘the raincoat’ of the house and defines the space inside. It should create a sense of togetherness and a participation of the family business, living in this space.

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5. The Rooms

The rooms created in the house are either pushed away underground against the shell or hanged from the wooden canopy. By doing so the main space retains openness and the cubical measurements Moe wanted to achieve. Even the stairs are built as transparent as possible.

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6. The Merger

All different spaces are visually connected with the main downstairs space to encourage the members of the family to stay in this common room. The ground floor, the main living space, is this multipurpose area where the family comes together. It functions as a dining room, a living room and workshop. The workshop can be pulled out of one of the side rooms. The idea of multifunctional rooms could have easily come from his collaboration with Arne Korsmo.

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7. The Roof

The roof is the last part of the 3-piece realm, the heaven. The family lives on the roof 6 months of the year. A transparent sheet is placed over a part of the terrace to protect the family members against the harsh Norwegian summers. It also enables you to watch the stars when sleeping in the beds on the roof.

 

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The hanging spaces, (Moe, 1984)

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The common room as a multifunctional space (Moe, 1984)

 

 

References

Aftenposten. (2004). Et kubistisk og nokså funksjonelt ikon.   Retrieved 02-11-2015, 2015

Askim, N. M., & Brun, M. (2001). Villa : 21 arkitekttegnede eneboliger. Oslo: Gyldendal fakta.

Moe, T. (1982). 6 x 6 x 5,40. Spazio e Societa, 20(1982 December), 4.

Moe, T. (1984). One family house with hanging rooms. Living Architecture, 02, 8.