Todd Saunders, founder of Saunders Architecture in Bergen, Norway, is one of the most notorious and contemporary Canadian architects. With an exploration of forms, a design influenced by natural landscape and carefully chosen materials, he has successfully created projects in Scandinavia and Canada with a strong sense of northern identity.
Led by these principles, Saunders recently designed an impressive house for his own family in the suburb of Bergen. The house is composed of three wood-clad volumes; the vertical structure, that contains the entrance on the first floor and the stairs, is crossed by the 35 meter-long lifted element that forms the core of the house. The architect wanted the house to be perfectly integrated to the site so he made it float over it, creating at the same time very useful covered outside spaces – A perfect place for a swing set for kids, isn’t it? This house may be interpreted as a statement, but for the architect, it is purely functional, adapted to his family and to the climate of Bergen; a city where it rains 250 days a year.
The architecture is quite simple in its form and its materiality, but the main idea developed by Saunders was to connect the exterior and the interior with a variety of terraces and outdoor spaces. The huge windows framing views on the natural surroundings bring lightness to the volumetric work and great luminosity to the 350 m2 house. I really appreciate the light-coloured and cosy interior that contrast nicely with the strong presence of the facades covered in stained black wood. Saunders put particular attention to the execution and details such as the Dinesen floorboards, the white-painted wood clad ceiling, the custom-built staircase and the 9m-long kitchen counter. The architect has collaborated with Swedish artist Hannes Wingate, whom to select a remarkable mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings such as the great kitchen counter stools by Søren Rose.
More about the villa here.
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Photos: Bent René Synnevag