Rodić Davidson Architects

Island House, Bergen

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Rodić Davidson Architects was commissioned to design a summer house on an idyllic island in the Bergen fjord.

Only accessible by boat and without mains electricity, the new building was allowed by the local Commune because there was already a small house on the island. This established the principle and we designed a new, larger house in the traditional style required by the Commune.

The architectural style is typical of the area; painted timber construction with a tiled roof. Bergen has, for hundreds of years, been a very important trading port and the traditional architectural style is evident in Bryggen, the old wharf of Bergen. The wooden buildings of Bryggen date from the middle ages but have been plagued by fire with massive destruction wrought in fires in 1702 and, more recently, 1955. However some buildings still survive and we studied these to understand the use of materials and traditional detailing and methods of construction.

The new house was insulated to an extremely high standard, as required by the local regulations. The new house is truly sustainable. The lack of mains electricity required an investment in onsite generation and storage. The photo-voltaic panels constantly charge a battery array which provides ample power for the occasional use of the house. Rainwater is captured and recycled and an efficient log burner provides heat and hot water.

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