Jensen & Skodvin Architects is an architectural firm based in Norway. It was established in 1995 by Jan Olav Jensen and Børre Skodvin. JSA is a multi-disciplinary firm that engages in varied domains of architecture, housing, healthcare, hospitality, landscape, and urbanism. Apart from excellent architectural work and details, each of their projects celebrates ecology and existing landscape, without altering any element on-site (in most cases). Their work has been noted and has fetched the prestigious Norwegian State Architectural Award, Wood award, Aga khan Award to name a few. 

Below is the list of 15 Projects by Jensen & Skodvin Architects:

1. Juvet Landscape Hotel

Location: Gudbrandsjuvet, Valldal, Norway
Site area: 210 m2
Year Built: 2007 – 2008

Juvet landscape hotel is located on a steep levee, in between birch, pine, and age-old boulders. Instead of a conventional hotel stacked together in one large building, the landscape hotel is spread throughout the terrain as small individual houses. Every house has one or two walls that are entirely built-in glass, making landscape an integral part of architectural design. With careful orientation, every room gets its exclusive view of a unique piece of the landscape, changing along with the season, the weather, and the time of day. This hotel is one of the celebrated works of JSA and has featured in a Sci-fi movie ‘Ex Machina’.

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Juvet Landscape Hotel ©jsa.no/projects
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Exteriors view of Juvet Landscape Hotel ©jsa.no/projects
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Living room overlooking the surrounding landscape ©miro.medium.com/

2. Tautra Monastery

Location: Tautra island, Trondheimsfjord, Nordtrøndelag, Norway
Site area: 2000 m2
Year Built: 2004 – 2006

Tautra Island had a Cistercian monastery 800 years ago, of which only ruins remain today. Tautra Monastery was designed for 18 nuns from different countries, along with a small church and all the facilities needed to make a living. The original program was reduced by 30 percent by eliminating almost all the corridors in the project. Laminated spruced wood is used in the interiors while slate cladding is used in the façade obtained from the local quarry. The monastery is a low height structure with a series of 7 gardens, allowing light and creating a sense of privacy, while at the same time opening up for some of the spectacular views towards the sea and the mountains.

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Birds eye view of Tautra Monastery © jsa.no/projects
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Slate Cladding of the Exterior facade of Tautra Monastery
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Timber roof of Tautra Monastery © jsa.no/projects

3. Mortensrud church

Location: Mortensrud, Oslo, Norway
Site area: 2200m2
Year Built: 2000 – 2002

The church is located on the top of a ridge, surrounded by large pine trees and rock formations. No blasting and excavation were performed on-site, preserving the existing vegetation and topography, thereby adding a dimension to the experience of the building. Several trees are preserved in atriums within the enclosure. Some of the existing rocks emerge like islands on the concrete floor of the church. The design feels unified with nature as it takes its major elements from the existing site and surroundings.

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Front View of Mortensrud church ©jsa.no/projects
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Courtyard of Mortensrud church ©jsa.no/projects
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Interior View of Mortensrud church ©jsa.no/projects

4. Gudbrandsjuvet – cafe building

Location: Åndalsnes, Norway
Site area: 240m2
Year Built: 2009 – 2010

The Service center accommodates a café, a kiosk, and restrooms. A triangular prefabricated concrete element is repeatedly used on the floor, walls, pillars, and roof. These elements are the structural support for the central roof and define the interior space for the furniture. The form allows for adjustments to the vulnerable topography at the site. The site has a picturesque waterfall which is a major tourist attraction. The cafe is closed during winters and is open to the public from May to September.

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Ground Floor Plan of Gudbrandsjuvet Café Building ©jsa.no/projects 
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Entrance plaza in front of Gudbrandsjuvet Café Building ©jsa.no/projects 
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Interiors of Gudbrandsjuvet Cafe Building ©jsa.no/projects

5. Summer House, Storfjord

Location: Storfjord, Western Norway
Net area: 200m2, Plot area: 1200m2
Year Built: 2011 – 2013

This summer house is located on a forested cliff, in Western Norway. Minimal alterations were made to the site, preserving its scenic beauty. A part of the existing rock is integrated beautifully in the living room. The common rooms are placed on the main level while the bedrooms are placed on the upper. Terraces are placed between the trees at various places, allowing sun at different hours of the day. The project was one of the houses featured in the film Ex Machina by Alex Garland in 2014.

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Living Room of Summer House ©jsa.no/projects
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Exterior view of Summer House ©jsa.no/projects
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Kitchen area of Summer House ©jsa.no/projects

6. New entrance building to Sognefjellshytta mountain hotel

Location: Sognefjellshytta, Sognefjellet, Norway
Area: 450 m2</completed
Year Built: 2012 – 2015

A new entrance building was constructed between two existing separate buildings of the Sognefjellet high mountain hotel. The aim was to connect the two existing buildings and to handle the large difference in topography levels. The building is an independent prefabricated wooden structure, resting on bedrock, and with flexible joints to the gables on each side, allowing for large relative movements. Glass is used in the triangular structural system to give the building an uninterrupted view of the outdoors. Gravel is used for the floor to handle different levels and to give a pleasant acoustic quality.

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Exterior view of entrance building to Sognefjellshytta mountain hotel ©jsa.no/projects 
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Interiors of entrance building to Sognefjellshytta mountain hotel ©jsa.no/projects 
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Sognefjellshytta mountain hotel during Snow ©jsa.no/projects

7. Truck garage – Rolvsøy

Location: Fredrikstad; Norway
Area: 300m2
Year Built: 1988 – 1999

The truck garage was constructed for a 42 tons forklift truck to facilitate the transfer of containers from trains to Lorries and vice versa. The specific width, height, and depth measurements were taken into account along with the space required for the truck’s maintenance and minor repairs. The perimeter wall is clad with spruce boarding, thus giving the panels a smooth curve. This project won Brunel Award – Commendation 1992, Junior Wood Award 1992, Norwegian State Architectural Award 1993, and Wood Award 1999.

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View of the Truck garage from the highway ©jsa.no/projects
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Interior of the Truck garage ©jsa.no/projects
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Roof structure of the Truck garage ©jsa.no/projects

8. The Norwegian Design and Architecture centre

Location: Oslo, Norway
Area: 3000m2
Year Built: 2003-2004

This project is a great example of adaptive reuse. The building underwent continuous change and alterations from 1860 to 1980. Keeping the dramatic history of the building intact, the new additions inside are constructed with very simple Cartesian geometries, with a pop of bright colors, making them stand out in a ruin-like environment. This project used different techniques and proposed minimal changes, like removing only the plaster that was in bad shape and never covering anything that was uncovered. It won Norwegian State Architectural Award in 2006.

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The Norwegian Design and Architecture centre ©jsa.no/projects
The Norwegian Design and Architecture centre - Sheet2
The Norwegian Design and Architecture centre ©jsa.no/projects
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The Norwegian Design and Architecture centre ©jsa.no/projects

9. 320 apartments at Årvollskogen

Location: Årvollskogen, Oslo
Area: 37000m2
Year Built: 2003-2006

The project is a large urban housing development with around 330 apartments on a site previously allotted for industrial purposes. The apartments are placed around the perimeter of the site, thus being able to achieve a larger central outdoor area for the inhabitants. Different apartment types were created, to encourage diversity and potentially positive effect on the social life of the area. This project won the Norwegian State Architectural Award in 2006.

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Bird eye view of 320 apartments ©jsa.no/projects
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Floor Plan of 320 apartments ©jsa.no/projects
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Central Outdoor Area at 320 apartments ©jsa.no/projects

10. Innfill housing – Huitfeldts gate 15

Location: Oslo, Norway
Area: 3439m2
Year Built: 2017

The project is yet another example of commercial urban housing. This building is an infill of 8 floors and replaces an old building which had to be taken down. A typical floor has 3 apartments on both sides of the central corridor. Rear apartments have large balconies and multi-directional windows. Apartments facing the street have two smaller balconies. The street facade consists of robust timber frame elements. Glass is partly recessed, partly flush with the front. Other facades are fiber cement panels. Interiors have plasterboard, replacing it instead with wooden paneling.

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Site plan of Innfill housing ©jsa.no/projects
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Front Elevation of Innfill housing ©jsa.no/projects
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Interiors of Innfill housing ©jsa.no/projects

11. Thermal spa & hotel  

Location: Bad Gleichenberg, Austria
Year Built: 2006 – 2008
Area: 1800m2

The treatment center looks nothing like a conventional clinic. It is situated in a guarded park and consists of a treatment area with about 50 different rooms for medical treatments, a four-star hotel with several different restaurants and cafes, and a public thermal bath for the patients and other guests.

The waiting areas for the patients are placed around courtyards allowing sun and different views to the outdoor courtyard spaces. This gives the patients an impression of waiting in the park itself.

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The park side with Outdoor Pool at Thermal spa & hotel ©jsa.no/projects 
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Roof of Treatment Area at Thermal spa & hotel ©jsa.no/projects 
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Interior view of Treatment area at Thermal spa & hotel ©jsa.no/projects 

12. Villa Wormdal Haug

Location:  Oslo, Norway
Area: 240 m2
Year Built: 1989 – 1991

The house is located in the city interiors surrounded by large deciduous trees of ash, maple, and oak. The local topography provides unimpeded pastoral views in all three directions. The rooms are given selective and exclusive views out towards the trees have resulted in different windows with different detailing from each room. The vault covering the living room and kitchen is a structural hybrid, both a barrel vault (spanning between sidewalls) and a shell (spanning from gable to gable). It won the Nordisk Takpris award in 1992.

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Living Room with the barrel vault at Villa Wormdal Haug ©jsa.no/projects 
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Exterior of Villa Wormdal Haug © jsa.no/projects
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Fireplace at Villa Wormdal Haug ©jsa.no/projects

13. Tourist road project – Liasanden stop point

Location: Norway
Area: 3000 m2
Year Built: 1995 – 1997

For this stop point, Jensen and Skodvin have tried to retain the qualities of light and space experienced in a forest. The rest area consists of a 300-meter long road, varying in width from about three to twelve meters, intertwining through the pine forest. No blasting is done and all the interventions are pure additions. The trees in the “road” have been protected with an element capable of being adjusted to any tree on the plot. The shoreline of the gravel and the trees create spaces of various sizes. It won the Norwegian State Architectural Award in 1998 and Wood Award in1999.

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Waiting area at Liasanden stop point ©jsa.no/projects
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Outdoor seating at Liasanden stop point ©jsa.no/projects
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Approach Road at Liasanden stop point ©jsa.no/projects

14. Lepers´ Hospital – Lasur, India

Location: Lasur,Maharashtra,India
Area: 1200 m2
Year Built: 1983 – 1985

This was a studio project of the Oslo School of Architecture studies for Jan Olav Jensen (student from 1978-1985) and Per Christian Brynildsen (student from 1980-1986). This is a leprosy hospital for about 40 patients as well as staff housing and farm facilities. The site is in the rural areas of Maharashtra in India, in Chopda district, next to the border of the Yawal wildlife sanctuary. The rooms have been designed around an enclosed space with an interior garden giving shade. The hospital is built with local materials, local technology, and by local masons, with little or no need for external guidance. The roof is clad with waste glazed tiles purchased from a nearby factory. It won the Aga Khan Award 1998, Ralph Erskine stipendium 1991.

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Site Plan of Lepers Hospital ©jsa.no/projects
Lepers´ Hospital - Lasur, India - Sheet2
Exterior of Lepers Hospital ©jsa.no/projects
Lepers´ Hospital - Lasur, India - Sheet3
Corridor at Lepers Hospital ©jsa.no/projects

15. National tourist road – Videseter viewing platform

Location: Videdalen Valley 
Area: 60 m2
Year Built: 1996 – 1997

Videfossen is a beautiful two-stage waterfall spectacularly located at the base of the Videdalen Valley along the Gamle Strynefjellsvegen scenic route. Videseter Falls faced avalanches every year, damaging the railings. The new design proposed railings of 90 mm long steel rod, cast in holes drilled to the exact same datum in the rock. With steel plates acting as a horizontal truss, this technique resulted in a highly stable geometry.

National tourist road - Videseter viewing platform - Sheet1
Videseter viewing platform © jsa.no/projects
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Videseter viewing platform © jsa.no/projects
National tourist road - Videseter viewing platform - Sheet3
Videseter viewing platform © jsa.no/projects
Author

A landscape architect by profession, Neha has an immense love for art, movies, and poetry. She has a significant interest in research, writing, and documentation. Alongside renders, models, and drawings, she firmly believes that writing is an essential skill for an architect to communicate ideas, encourage explorations, and engage with communities.

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