Jarmund/Vigsnæs Architects (JVA) are a Norwegian practice who had not until now built in the UK, but who are famous around Scandinavia for their creative responses to the highly seasonal Nordic landscape. For Living Architecture, they created a building with a complex geometrically roofscape that references local seaside buildings while remaining distinctively contemporary.
The roof, clad in a lightly tinted orange steel alloy, reflects the changing colours of the sea and sky and the panoramic windows on the ground floor give one a sense of nestling in the dunes while at the same time inviting one out to the beckoning sea beyond. Each of the four peaks of the roof contains a bedroom and a bathroom, with windows carefully positioned to catch intriguing views of the land and sea scape all around. The timber-lined bedrooms all have bath tubs in them, so that one can lie in warm water and, from small adjacent windows, take in glimpses of the North Sea or the meadows which surround the house at the rear.
On the ground floor, a living area, a kitchen and a terrace are set into the dunes in order to protect them from wind and give out equally in all directions, allowing uninterrupted 360 degree views. The corners of the ground floor can be opened by sliding doors, a move which emphasizes the floating appearance of the top floor.
While the materials of the ground floor (concrete, glass and aluminum) root the building with a reassuring sense of heaviness, the upper floor (made of timber planks) give a nautical feel that echoes the gables and seaside huts of the area. The house is a stunning reinvention and reinterpretation of the English seaside dwelling.