Oslo is in a state of transformation. With a wealth of cultural, residential and commercial projects currently underway, the face of the Norwegian capital is changing. But change is not all about larger scale projects - this new house by local architecture practice Narud Stokke Wiig (NSW) is one of the city's smaller, but nonetheless stylish additions.
The project, located in the northern outskirts of Oslo, sits within a suburban cluster of mostly 1930s villas, which has been slowly poised for densification since the capital's expansion. In keeping with this theme, the house is situated in an inventive, if rather suprising site: the backyard of another property - one that the clients (a family of five) has owned for generations.
Aiming for a more contemporary style that would remain respectful of its close surroundings, the architects proposed a simple, compact box, with a clean rectilinear outline firmly 'rooted to the ground'. Spanning three floors - two above-ground and a basement level - the house is punctured by strategically-placed windows, cut out of the building's dark brick-clad skin. These flood the interior with light, together with a skylight located right above the central staircase and a light well that brings the sun into the basement.
Inside, the layout is arranged in a simple way. One floor hosts the communal areas (kitchen, dining and living rooms are on the ground floor) and the remaining two hold the more private ones (the family bedrooms and a playroom are situated on the first floor, while the lower ground offers some further accommodation). Contrasting the exterior's darker colouring, the interior features a much softer palette, consisting mostly of white walls and a minimal, light-coloured, untreated spruce timber flooring throughout.
Combining modern Scandinavian style with a considered approach to Oslo's urban needs, Wothouse is a contemporary family house thriving in its unusual setting.