House extension at Abbediengen Elmholtveien

Explore the facts about the project


In 1929 the architect Eivind Gleditsch received building permission for the existing house with an annex and a terrace, a simple framework building preserved with pine tar and with a pan tiled roof. The house was later altered somewhat, but the major alterations of inside walls, and a new concrete extension with a new stairway and a freestanding tower, were carried out in 1990. In addition, the existing house was extended by an additional 3.3 metres following the direction of the roof ridge.


The terrain around the house falls sharply on three sides, while from the house there is direct access from the living room to a 50m2 terrace covered with shingle. Three oak trees and a selection of shrubs give the garden an intimate and distinctive character.

It was important that the form of the building remained intact towards neighbouring properties and Elmholtveien, so that the building volumes did not break the local interrelationship. New expanses of glass in the extension of the main house opened up a view to the north.

The free-standing tower contains a small study with direct access to a terrace paved with slate. The terrace above the utility room can be reached via a slate covered bridge from the new stairway spanning the old and the new, while the terrace in front of the study can be accessed from the garden by an outside concrete ramp.

The new building consists of reinforced, double-string insulated concrete walls (2 x 12cm), steel profiles and reinforced glass. All the floors are linked through the four-storey open volume that gives the extension a light and airy character via the stairway and light openings, and between the decks and the outer walls. A limited use of handrails and a total absence of safety balusters in the open stairway underscores the lightness and strength of the concrete.