'ARK booktower' by Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter
Within the ’1:1 – Architects Build Small Spaces’ exhibition at the V&A in London the Norwegian practice Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter realised this wooden structure, a temporary, intimate, little library, in the middle of the stairwell that leads to the museum’s first-floor National Art Library.
Now after having dismantled the ARK booktower Rintala Eggertsson Arkitekter are currently looking for someone who might be interested in it.
'Beetle's House' by Terunobu Fujimori, located in the Medieval & Renaissance Room; commissioned by the V&A, © Terunobu Fujimori
There’s a scene in Ben Stiller’s 2001 comedy ‘Zoolander’ where the eponymous male supermodel smashes up an architectural model of a new school that’s due to be built in his honour upon seeing it for the first time. ‘How are we supposed to teach kids to read, when they cannot fit inside the building?’, rages the intellectually challenged fashion celebrity. His unfortunate misreading of scale is our comic delight.
'Boxhome' by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, photo by Ivan Brodey
The Oslo based Rintala Eggertsson Architects reaslised this modest 19sqm house in their home city. By focusing on the quality of space, material and natural light, and reducing unnecessary floor area the architects underline their political view on modern, responible architecture.
'Boxhouse by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, photo by Ivan Brodey
Here is what the architects proclaim:
“In the North all buildings for living have to be made in an advanced way due to the ever-contrasting weather. Additionally, the houses have to be properly heated with external energy more than half of the year’s course. Therefore producing smaller homes would bring about a considerable economical and ecological benefit. Today the construction activity stands alone for more than one third of total global energy and material consumption, well exceeding that of all traffic and transport.
This should be a crucial question especially in Scandinavia, where people, in accordance with their growing wealth, possess larger and larger houses. And in most cases, this in addition to a second home called a summer house or a cottage.”
'Boxhome' by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, photo by Sami Rintala
“Boxhome is a 19 square meter dwelling with four rooms covering the basic living functions: kitchen with dining, bathroom, living room and bedroom.
Firstly, the project focuses in the quality of space, material and natural light, and tries to reduce unnecessary floor area. The result is a dwelling where the price is only 1/4 of the price of any same size apartment in the same area. Boxhome is a prototype building, yet the same attitude could be taken further to bigger family housing and consequently to work places.”
Dining room, 'Boxhouse' by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, photo by Are Carlsen
“Secondly, it seems that we have given the right to produce our homes to uncontrollable groups of actors who seek mostly maximum income. The basic need to have one’s family protected has become a great business adventure. Making a simple house, after all, is perhaps not such a difficult task that it should be totally left for this kind of forces. Moreover, meeting the official construction restrictions and laws usually seems to equal to the using of the building industry products and services, thus limiting the possibilities of a real change and development into minimum.”
'Boxhouse' by Rintala Eggertsson Architects
“Thirdly, in Western societies at the moment we are enjoying the highest standard of living ever know to human kind. At the same time we are fully informed of the results of our culture of consumerism. Therein lays the greatest paradox: We are forced to actively forget the real reality to be able to enjoy the facade of excess we have created around us.
Finally, and most importantly, the goal has been to make a peaceful small home, a kind of urban cave, where a person can withdraw to, and whenever wished, forget the intensity of the surrounding city for awhile.”
photo by Ivan Bodey
Customer: Galleri ROM, Maridalsveien 3, Oslo, Norvey
Curator: Henrik de Mensassian
Project partners: Sami Rintala, architect Oslo, Dagur Eggertson, architect Oslo, John Roger Holte, artist Oslo, Julian Fors, architect student Vienna
Sponsors: Aspelin-Ramm/ funding, Infill/ funding, Ruukki/ metal facades, Pilkington Floatglass/ windows, Optimera Industri/ interior wood, Vitra Scandinavia/ chair and lamps, SM-Lys/ lamps, Byggmakker/ construction material, Glava Isolasjon/ insulation
Materials: wood: pine/ structures, cypress/ interior walls and floors, birch/ kitchen, spruce/ bathroom, red oak/ living room, nut/ bedroom, aluminium: facades
Size: exterior measures 5500 cm (length) x 5700 cm (height) x 2300 cm (width)
Floor area: 19 square meters
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to the Rintala Eggertsson Architects website
‘Tomas Sæmundsson Centre’ Rangarvallasysla / Iceland by Rintala Eggertsson Architects
The research centre
The iclandic Rintala Eggertsson Architects recently unveiled their proposal for the Tomas Sæmundsson Centre in Rangarvallasysla, Iceland, where the founder of the icelandic independence movement was born 200 years ago.
The building is composed of two parts: A visitors centre, with a small museum function and a lecture space and a small research centre, an exposed tower with working facilities and accommodation for one person.
The vistiors centre
Here some words of the architects:
By placing the centre in Rangarvallasysla, according to the wishes of our clients, we felt that it was important to create a connection to the environment, where Tomas Sæmundsson spent most of his life. Our attention was drawn towards two places in Rangarvallasysla which were important in his life; Kufholl, where he was born and Breidabolsstadur, where he spent the last years of his life. These places are very different. One is on a flat river delta close to Markarfljot and the other one is in a hillside close to Hvolsvollur and the mountain Thrihyrningur. Having two different functions to deal with, we decided to divide them between the two places. The research centre was place at Kufholl and the visitors centre was placed at Breidabolsstadur. The two parts consist each of a main space and an entrance space. The main spaces are positioned on the same level above the ground, facing each other. In that way one is able to obtain a physical connection to two important places in the area, and a mental connection between the two.
The visitors centre
to the Rintala Eggertsson website