Diploma Høst 2019

Art colony in the North

Håvard Heggenhougen

My diploma project is an art colony on an islet called Kvernerholmen, by the lighthouse Ulla Fyr. On a small islet affected by drastically diverse weather and light conditions, and with distinct geology, unique to this place. Central to this project is the concept of preservation. To explore what steps need to be taken to maintain old architecture. And of questioning decisions to keep things the way they are. The existing lighthouse station consists of six buildings. The lighthouse keeper’s quarters, a tool shed, a barn, two boathouses, and the lighthouse itself. The lighthouse keeper’s quarters are based on drawings that the lighthouse department had on the stock from earlier stations. The building is split into two mirrored living quarters made for two lighthouse keepers and their respective families. This, coupled with the contrasting weather conditions, gives this place great diversity in experiences. Part of what makes this place so attractive to artists is its relation to the sea, as there is an uninterrupted view of the ocean horizon looking south and going west, all the way to the north. The ever-changing environment ranges from raw merciless forces of nature to calm serene waters, from the dark and threatening to the bright and cheerful. This art colony merges restoration with a new architecture to create a new situation founded on previous core principles. The old architecture is present and accompanied by new buildings in the form of a guest house, a pavilion, and an atelier. Central to this arrangement is an enclosed space in the form of a large circle. This circle represents the artists’ working area which extends out to three connected buildings. While being a connecting point it also serves as a space for outside work and exhibition and a space for social gatherings. The new architecture is meant to accent the old and preserve a sensation that belongs to this place.

In Lina Bo Bardi’s illustration ‘the architect’s room’ she managed to capture not just a space, but its connections to a broader context outside of the borders of the page. She managed to capture the essence of what she wanted to convey with simple lines. Something I too try to do.