A wall was removed and replaced with a facade in oak and glass.
Preserve or tear? That is the question many builders and architects face. The solution is necessarily no straight line, and many choose to enter into a compromise between old and new.
It also made those who took over an old smith and stall at Vålerenga in Oslo. They removed one of the brick walls and left the remaining three standing. The opening that occurred, they filled with a facade of oak and glass, as in the evening they poured their warm light over the neighborhood.
The original building can most likely trace its history dating back to around 1860, and according to Einar Jarmund in Jarmund / Vigsnæs Architects, who designed the house, possibly built first on two floors.
– Then it was elevated to three floors at a later stage, he explains to clicks. no.
– It is built as a stall. It has been used as a smith and metal workshop until our client took over. What made the building especially on Vålerenga was the height of three floors. And that it is built in bricks, because most of the buildings at Vålerenga were built in three years.
Vålerenga was populated by immigrants from Eastern Norway. They brought their traditions and architectures. “In many houses there are leftovers for barns and stables in back yards. Elsewhere there have been workshops, smiths, bakeries and other businesses, “Jordal Borettslag writes on his website.
And with its origins like both stables and smiths, this building appears as a symbiosis of the cultural currents that have characterized the district.
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“Architecture never occurs in a void, and every age is a prerequisite,” writes Arne Gunnarsjaa in the preface to the Architectural Guide for Norway. What thus shaped this building was the features it was given.
In its original form, it can be argued that the building did not have clear aesthetic qualities, but in its almost coarse form it still appeared with a beauty. Therefore, it was sought to preserve the most of the building shell.
– The road to the backyard was in a bad condition and was demolished, while the three other brick walls located in the neighboring area are kept unchanged. In dialogue with antiquarian authorities it was decided that the original volume of the building is mainly retained in the new building, says Einar Jarmund.
When it was a pipe in its day, there is a roof railing on top and it is what Jarmund describes as a work box.
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This room finishes a vertical run that starts from the kitchen at ground level and ends with the roof terrace that comes through the work box.
From the terrace you not only have views of Vålerenga’s roof landscape, but also Oslo and Oslofjorden.
The entire building is about 10 meters high and has a living surface of about 120 m2. The rooms are according to the architect hanged in the internal steel structure.
In this way, spatial delimitations and constrictions are formed in a cohesive common space that slopes through the entire building’s height, explains Jarmund.
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– Horizontally, an alternate game of volumes that retracts from the glass facade is established, touches it, or penetrates the facade, into the back yard.
Jarmund believes that what makes the project different is that the space program is resolved at eight different levels. The children’s room and bathroom are boxes that are put into the large room. The living room is thus on top of the children’s box.
– We usually call the work room a “furterom” for those who want to be self-sufficient, he expands and tells that the kitchen is dug down in the ground, with the kitchen counter on the level with the yard.
– There is a fireplace, and a cozy little bed sofa hidden behind the bathroom and under the stairs.
New content in old shell
Arne Gunnarsjaa describes various ways of understanding architecture. He uses, inter alia, the concept of anonymous architecture, about buildings with an elemental design without a notable style articulation, as he describes it.
With the placement of the modern style expression in the brick shell, the architects have lifted the building from an anonymous existence to a distinctive form expression.
According to Gunnarsjaa, our architectural experience is also shaped by the way we use the buildings. “First and foremost, we are all” users “of architecture, and many can appreciate construction art,” he writes in his book. The house at Vålerenga is a family house, which is characterized by the use of materials.
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Jarmund says that the inside of existing exterior walls of bricks is bad. Furthermore, new main constructions, stairs and railings are made in steel, while new walls and ceilings are dressed with Norwegian oak. The windows are in untreated aluminum and the windows are in oak.
Inside there is also a distinctive use of concrete. Both the floor of the entrance hall and the kitchen and kitchen counter are made of sanded concrete.
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