Snøhetta crafts a suspended treetop home in the heart of Norway
Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta has collaborated with engineer Tor Helge Dokka for a residential project located in Kongsberg, Norway. Dubbed House Dokka, the 190-sq-m (2,045-sq-ft) dwelling is an off-grid three-bedroom family home that's inspired by treehouse architecture and embraces a connection with nature.
House Dokka is suspended over the beautiful Norwegian landscape, perched on massive wooden columns anchored firmly into the rock to minimize interference with the surrounding environment. The home is constructed using locally produced cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated timber (GLT). This choice of materials ensures that the house can be deconstructed with minimal climate costs when its life-cycle concludes. Notably, not a single nail was used during the construction process, allowing for easier sorting and recycling of materials in the future.
The commitment to sustainability is further demonstrated through large photovoltaic panels on the roof, superior insulation, and a waterborne heat system connected to a ground source heat pump. The result is a residential home that will produce more energy than it consumes in less than a decade. The house not only generates enough energy for its own running needs but also supplies 75 percent of the energy required for charging the family's electric car.
House Dokka is clad in black-stained timber paneling. In contrast, the interior design features warm timber paneling and polished concrete flooring. Large black-framed windows make the most of the magnificent surrounding views.
Stretched over two levels, the upper section of the home features a large open-plan living and dining area, modern kitchen, hidden bathroom, master bedroom and large timber outdoor terrace. The lower level is home to an two more bedrooms, as well as a lounge, home office, guest suite, laundry space and central shared bathroom.
In recognition of its architectural significance, House Dokka, affectionately called Column House, was awarded the Architecture Prize for 2023 by the Kongsberg municipality. The jury praised the dwelling as "one of the most important contributions to the architecture of Kongsberg municipality and the region for many years."