Jensen & Skodvin Architects. Tautra Monastery – Three elements


One important aspect of the institution is the introvert character of the daily life of the nuns. This has an architectural implication- the courtyard. The idea was to create a low building with a series of gardens, bringing light and creating a sense of privacy and exclusion, while at the same time opening up for some of the spectacular views across the fjord. The project consists of a system of different sized rooms that are connected in the corners and have courts between them altogether creating 7 gardens.


Along with the courtyards, corridors create the connection between each courtyard and  differently sized rooms. The original program was reduced, by approximately 30 percent, by eliminating a lot of the corridors in the project. This has been possible by analyzing the way the monastery works. Usually all the nuns are assembled together when they are in one of the main rooms. That means these rooms can also act as corridors and circulation areas. In this flexible areas, you can look silently through the glass wall towards the sea and the mountains on the other side.



In this part, you can see the glorious view of nature through the glazed wall behind the altar. The ceiling is transparent as well, and the sun’s rays pass through it; the lively play of light and shadows on the interior is made possible by the lattice-like, wooden structure above.3

The way to achieve such beautiful light and shadows is the use of structure. Thus I made model to indicate the varies ways of how the structure part join together:


Structural units

church planPlan of the church

sketch church1

   From the inside -to look at outside


Jenson& Skodvin works 1995-2009
07 Design Peak _ Jensen & Skodvin Architects 012619892011