This contemporary cottage, built in a stunning seashore location on the Lyngen peninsula – a protected heritage area well within the Arctic Circle and one of Norway’s National Parks – is defined by its respect for nature and restrained material palette of Nordic Green copper clad walls and roofs, seamless glazing and timber.
Snorre Stinessen Architecture’s design for the new Aurora Lodge retreat aims to embrace the stunning panorama across the sea and a close connection with nature, while retaining privacy. A small flat area within the natural landscape was perfectly suited to accommodate this low-intervention building. All vegetation was preserved or re-planted, leaving the original trees virtually untouched. A small creek has been preserved and now runs under the building. The lodge consists of a main building with central terrace, a separate annexe suite and a sauna across the creek.
Stone paved steps set in the ground lead along the creek and amongst the trees, past the annexe to the entrance. A continuation of the entrance, and just over the creek, lies the central outdoor terrace, positioned between the kitchen/dining room and the living room, below the main roof. The creek continues its flow just beyond the concrete terrace floor with its own distinct contribution to the sounds of nature.
Angular Copper Canopy
Conceptually, the design is based on a natural platform in the landscape providing a continuous floor for the main building, both internally and externally. This platform is then protected by an angular canopy, forming the eastern wall and roof – clad entirely in Nordic Green copper – providing high indoor ceilings. The copper enclosure contrasts with wide-open views of the surrounding nature – including the northern lights in winter – through extensive, seamless glazing. The same approach is taken with the two outbuildings, also enveloped with Nordic Green copper. Careful detailing and installation have resulted in graceful transformations between copper planes.
In terms of materiality, Snorre Stinessen explained: “Copper was chosen for its durability – particularly close to the sea and with air salinity – but also for its permanence, quality and beauty. The fact that it’s a natural material and, of course, 100% recyclable are for me important factors – and certainly longevity is a factor often overlooked. The Nordic Green pre-patinated copper colour is intended to blend with the natural surroundings but is also a nod to how we most often see copper in Norway: on historic buildings”.
Natural Copper Minerology
The extensive Nordic Green, Nordic Blue and Nordic Turquoise ranges offer patinated copper surfaces straightaway that would otherwise take many years to develop in the environment. They have properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. As well as the solid patina colours, ‘Living’ surfaces are available for each, with variable intensities of patina flecks revealing some of the dark oxidised background material.
The Nordic Copper range also includes Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’, copper alloys Nordic Bronze, Nordic Brass and the innovative golden Nordic Royal. In addition, Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper offers lighter or darker colour shades. Snorre Stinessen added: “We are just about to start another new building in the same area as Aurora Lodge, although in somewhat different surroundings. Here, we are still using Aurubis copper – but this time Nordic Brown”.