Per Line. Modern Vernacular. HåGamle Prestegard

Per Line was an architect who followed the direction of Knut Knutsen’s organic architecture since he was studying in school. He worked in parallel with restoration and design of new houses. He found in the restoration projects a source of inspiration and through that he nurtured his interest in traditional building, methods and use of materials that he would use later also on new buildings.

The Hå Old Vicary was a small building that was restored by Per Line in the early 80s to become a cultural center, but it soon became clear that it needed an extension with space for toilets, reception, an art shop… This extension was also designed by the architect and it was finished on 1991.

Having studied the background of the architect and looking closely at the building, we have come up with three main subjects that define this building and which are repeated in all of Per Line’s architecture.




We find the first point in the site plan. For the architect it was very important how the building is placed in relation to its surroundings. Per Line focused on building in a single area, the area of Jæren, in the south west of Norway, so he knew the place well and was familiar with the building tradition there.

He distinguished himself as a strong opponent of catalog houses and was keen to preserve the local building tradition. He was also keen to adapt the buildings to the climate of the place.




The second point is the way he combines traditional Jæren architecture with modern materials and modern construction methods.

The use of stone, wood and glass were innovative and not yet rooted in the Jæren’s heritage. The extension emerged as new and modern, but it was also characterized by old building traditions. This contrast between the modern and the tradition become evident when paying attention to the way materials are used, which are isolated in these four collages: the roof covered with old red brick, the natural stone walls, the wood panels and the glass surfaces on the windows and ridge zones.

These illustrations also show how the building comes up from the ground and it is perfectly adapted to the terrain.
E_thin_1-02-02 E_thin_2-02-02


We can also see the contrast between modern and tradition on the plan. It has clear and recognizable elements of tradition, yet we can see the geometric shapes in ground plane and the open plan living area that are so present in modern times.



Finally, the third topic is the inhabitant’s relation to the architecture.

“I’ve called my architecture humane. It’s about people who touch each other. I try to create spaces where meeting is possible. I intend it as part of the function.”
(Per Line 07/17/1992)

Per Line cared a lot about people. He always looked for the proportions that feel right on the body and in the building process he had many conversations with the builders to know what they wanted, and to explain how and why he would do it, in order, as he says himself, to achieve an architecture that is humane.



Architectural interpretation by Anna Verdaguer Pons & Karolin Kõrge, AHO 2015