Work with what is there

In the backseat of the jeep. The pile of timber seems custom designed to fit the car. On the other side of the stack, father and son are talking in German to Knut Wold, driver of the jeep and current owner of the Sørum Farm. Craftsmen. The landscape is agricultural, against a background of mountains and a slice of lake. The truck turns right. Monoliths next to mailboxes, a bumpy driveway. The assembly of buildings appears through the trees.

The Sørum Farm is experienced. The sculptures of Knut Wold — meticulously implanted in the area — seem abstract metaphors. Place-making, layering, craft, contemplation; time manifests itself in space. The assembly reflects a slow evolution; shaped by the lives of succeeding generations. What is tradition?

 

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His house is accessed by a temporary bridge. By closing the door, the construction site becomes home. The unit, which recalls a modernist duplex apartment, turns its back to the farm. Instead of enhancing the courtyard and its surrounding buildings, the space frames the landscape. Knut doesn’t own the land, only the adjacent plot — a frontyard grazed by sheep of a friend, marked by a manipulated rock. Cultivation has changed its meaning.

When the farmers made place for Knut, the settlement shifted function. As Knut wants to shape his life into the empty ruin, a professional — architect, engineer, outsider — seems needed for physical answers. Conscious vernacular is a fitting contradiction. Contemporary architecture rubs against stone. However, through confronting the boundaries, the result gets intensified. The architectural still-life is made by thoughtful interweaving and spatial dialogue, in search of the right balance of contrast. What is context?

 

White house     Barn

 

Stairs. Turn, step up. Through the shower, zigzag down. Sauna, door closed, open to the desk. The roof tilts its skirt, bridges turn the ground floor into a medieval cellar and the piano cuckoos out of the wall. The barn is a speleobox of different scales, a collage of spaces with no clear function. 

The layering takes time to unfold. The farm works as a living organism, it enriches by its scars. Interior and exterior are in a continuous state of process, incompleteness, resulting in a complex spatial experience. The labile collection of ideas has a surprising beauty. What is complete?

 

     

Part one of two. Continue 

All pictures are taken by the author.