Mjelgaron – the portable house of your dreams

Håkon Mjelva, 1961

The intention of the summer house Mjelgaron was to be the architectural version of a ready-to-assemble IKEA-furniture piece: a reasonably priced, flat package with a bunch of pieces you yourself have to put together. The entire house was supposed to be loaded onto a small truck, driven to a preselected site and assembled in 4 hours. Adjustment to the site was resolved by a set of 80-centimeter adjustable columns. When summer was over, one could demount the building in 6 hours, pack it together and store it until spring, when one could once again load it onto the small truck and drive it to a new site.

The original house was 40 square meters and consisted of two sleeping cabins and a big open room with kitchen, dining area and living room, with a big covered terrace. The tensile waterproof canvas roof was shaped as a series of double-curved surfaces. The intention was to produce this house for a mail order – or, to draw the parallell to our Nordic neighbour, an IKEA piece of furniture – but the production never started, as the house was regarded too big and too complicated to build and unbuild.

Installation instructions:

 

1. F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)          2.F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)

 

3.      F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)                          4.           F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)

 

5.     F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)            6. F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)

 

7.  F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)          8.  F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)

 

9. F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)    10.    F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)

 

 

11.   F:AHONorwegian architectureMjelgaron Model (1)

 

Arkitekturfoto av "Mjelgaron", Håkon Mjelvas flyttbare sommerhus. Det er uvisst om dette er nr. I, II eller III. Mjelva var en eksponent for japansk innflytelse i norsk etterkrigsmodernisme, og "Mjelgaron" er det reneste uttrykket for denne tendensen. *** Local Caption *** Håkon Mjelva

 

References and credits:
Assembly drawings produced by me, Anna Willemark, for the Norwegian Architecture course.
Photographs from Teigen Fotoarkiv found in Oslobilder.no:
http://oslobilder.no/search?searchstring=%22H%E5kon%20Mjelva%22