JSA Architects. An Interview


IMG_05211 studio    10974696_1589800304596284_4075118738227611541_o nature    Juvet Landscape Hotel architecture



studio | the office

Jensen and Skodvin Architects‘ office was a carwash in the past; the floor hasn’t been renovated, that’s why you can still see some sewer covers on it.
The walls are made of rough concrete, the typical material of industrial buildings. The architects of the studio decided not to renovate them: they should tell the history of the place. The entrance is made of wood and the higher level continues from the entrance to the end of the office as a long table. It’s characterized by an organic shape and it recalls the peoject called Gudbrandsjuvet Viewingplatform.
There are lots of plants behind the big windows; the relationship with nature isn’t only the main topic of their works, it ‘s part of their everyday life.


studio | the workshop

It is a central place, where the architects make models not only for competitions but also during the design making in order to understand how the projects work and to try different options.
They make material models only if they are efficient, sometimes 3d models are more adequate to study some topics such as the light or the relationship between the building and the relationship with the topography of the place.
They usually don’t finish models (save those for competitions) because it’s very difficult to do pretty ones.
It is a place where some parties and meetings take place during the entire year: the most important and suggestive is the Christmas one.

3_mortensrud2nature | the landscape

One of the main characteristics of the studio’s works is making nature part of the buildings and the buildings part of nature.
You can do it trough smart and innovative solutions which highlight the presence of a natural element, such as in the Mortensrud Church where some existing brake pierce the floor or such as in the Liasanden Mountain Road project where the presence of some trees is highlighted wrapping the trunks with some twine.
Nature is not only the environment, nature is also the light.
You can create different perceptions of the space using the light in different ways, such as in Tautra Maria Convent where the light creates a fragmentation of the space thanks to the texture of the roof.

Summerhouse Western Norway2xnature | the topography

In every project there is a different relationship between the building and the landscape, it depends on the topography of the place.
Sometimes it is very strong and showed off such as in a private house, Summer House Fjord.
Sometimes it seems to be less aggressive and more harmonious. In all of them quality is more important than anything else: the quality of the design, the quality of choosing materials, the quality of approaching the landscape and to create a relationship between the built and the nature.
The Norwegian National Tourist Routes Project has been a great opportunity to plan and build strange things, which wouldn’t normally be planned for other clients.


architecture | social importance

A project can have a social importance in many ways.
First, a project can involve people and make them enjoy, such as during the Sundhouse Competition, when a group of four young architects planned a city made of sand and the built it in only one day.
Than it can involve local communities in building it such as it happened in China, developing the wood project called The Entrance Gate with the people of the village.
At the end, it can attract other businesses and an entire area can be developed thanks to it. The Juvet Landscape Hotel is the most important example of this strategy: lots of different small businesses have been established around it and thanks to it: a bakery and some other small shops and activities.

Gudbrandsjuvet Viewingplatforme

architecture | an advice

During the years spent at the university students should learn as much as possible about what they really want to do in their future. A good architect is the one who thinks especially in an intuitive way and who is brave enough to take the risk. At present the society is afraid of it because there is too much to loose; the more you have to loose, the less innovative you are. That’s why architects are now requested to do just one type of building, repeating them day by day; “if you eat meat you can’t eat vegetable” (B. Skødvin). Ours is a conservative society where efficiency is demanded more than quality and where no one tries to do something never proved before. Our society is nowadays regressing because of this attitude and it needs to reconfigure a little bit.


architecture | the drawings

In Jensen and Skodvin Architectsfacebook page you can find lots of images of the drawings of many projects.
Sharing the drawings and the pictures of working in progress and of the finished projects is very important to create a close relationship between the studio and the society.

click here to see more pictures