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Norwegian-based architectural firm, Jensen & Skodvin Architects are well known for their striking, often extraordinary designs, some of which are found in wild and remote areas; others camouflaged in urban hubs, with their engaging use of tectonic architecture. Jensen & Skodvin’s architectural works are modern yet natural, futuristic yet comfortable and with a deep resounding respect for that nature or heritage that it belongs to, making them the environmental architects they are today.
Established in 1995, Jensen & Skodvin Architects, made up of Jan Olav Jensen and Børre Skodvin, is a multi-disciplinary firm. One of its lead characteristics, whether it’s a steel-cabled bridge over a steep ravine, a curved truck garage made from spruce or a mirrored woodland hideaway is its commitment to ecology and the existing landscapes, always striving for as little intervention to the land it’s built on.
Their penchant for a particular type of tectonic architecture is another feature that allows them to stand out – whereby all elements of the structure are visible, so you can see how the buildings are constructed, and this very construction becomes part of the design manifesto. And with such outlandish and modern designs – who wouldn’t want to see them in more detail?
The Sinsen Metro Station in Olso is one such example, where an almost deconstructed form allows the nine entrances to have visibly different styles. The angular Sognefjellshytta mountain hotel, created in triangular panels of timber and glass, let light in and simultaneously allow the design blueprint to shine through.The architects also designed unique tectonic buildings materials to help show their craft more clearly including the curvy ‘ladybrick’.
Perhaps one of Jensen & Skodvin Architects most well-known projects is Juvet Landscape Hotel, located in western Norway, which featured as the set for cult film Ex Machina. Although the film’s plot takes some sinister turns through the exploration of artificial intelligence, Juvet is shown in understated glory, quite the limelight stealer.
A cube-like hotel that seems to be swallowed up by its environment, huge walls of glass take in the wild and rugged outdoors which alternates between jagged rocks, endless views, gushing aqua-blue streams and the beauty and silence of the forest. Inside, the interiors are temples to minimalism, with polished concrete floors, black pigmented wood and designer chairs. Again, Jensen & Skodvin’s commitment to the surrounding nature was clear with the use of steel rods, drilled into the rock, allowing shrubs, trees and vegetation to remain blissfully untouched.
Although their work is mostly based in Norway and Sweden, recent projects in China show Jensen & Skodvin’s particular designs reaching further afield – we think this ecology-sensitive architecture is exactly what the world needs.