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Voss Spa

A RETREAT IN VOSSEVANGEN, NORWAY

In Norway there is a rooted sense of place in the landscape, a visceral connection to material and nature. This rootedness is balanced with a perpetual curiosity and a continuous quest for innovation. This stride towards new ideas is different from the typical avant-garde approach where context and history are dismissed. It is a symbiotic relationship where the yearning for new ideas occurs through the lens of culture, history, and a profound connection to nature.

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This project explores a dialectic of the familiar and the unique; the traditional and the radical. By flipping the traditional Nordic farmhouse on its head, new structural, programmatic, and experiential opportunities emerge.

 

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Program Diagrams & Lower Floor Plan

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Ground & Upper Floor Plans

Many architectural innovations have been created as a way to seperate us from the harsh conditions of extreme climates. In contrast, this spa seeks innovation as a means to allow individuals to dwell closer than ever before to the immense beauty of this hostile environment. 

 

Throughout the building’s design, there is an overriding ambition to integrate the visitors with the sustainable strategies. Whether it is preparing a snack from the productive orchard or sitting in a room that is tinted green from algae, sustainability is used for more than just producing clean energy. By making the visitor more aware of its potential, they can carry that enthusiasm back to their home and the innovations of a single spa in Norway can proliferate across the globe.

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Structural System - Exploded Physical Model 

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The structure that supports the spa above creates a unique spatial environment. An abstracted forest blends into a natural forest as one moves through the site. 

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Arrival

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Library

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Movement Studio

The underside of the spa is constructed with an inverted gable design that transitions from being most articulated at the outer edge (where cantilever forces are strongest) to flat at the hill side. This structural transformation also provides a diversity of spatial conditions that are strategically aligned to serve to the program within. For example, sections where the inverted gable is deepest support program like a library amphitheater stair and a plunge pool. However program that does not benefit from such a unique section (the Movement Studio, for instance) are located on the side with the conventional, flat slab floor. In this way, form and function are intrinsically intertwined and a seemingly radical structural system becomes a hyper-logical solution that creates unique and memorable experiences. 

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Sections of the Spa - Form is optimized to accommodate unique program 

This project is conceived as a closed-loop ecosystem, where nothing goes to waste. Every element is designed to have a symbiotic relationship with its neighbor. This idea of architectural reciprocity is examined throughout the project

at different scales; from overall site strategies, to the room, to the component. The featured section below

cuts through the library (top) and the dry sauna (bottom).

These two simple rooms create an ecosystem that fully integrate:

• Rainwater collection

• Water and air purification

• Bio-solar energy production (Algae)

• Solar energy production (PV)

• Direct solar shading

• Hydronic heating

• Natural Daylighting

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1:50 Detailed Building Section AA

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1:5 Detail at Parapet and Prefab Skylight

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1:5 Detail at Lower Window Sill

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Sustainable Site Strategies

The architecture frames the landscape, it’s peaks interact with the mountains, the sky, and the water. When looking at the larger context of the site, mirroring the traditional Nordic farmhouse creates a condition that is at once familiar and unique. 

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Entry View - Interstitial Space, between the Resident's Building below and the Spa Building above

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North Elevation

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South Elevation

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