So hot is Oslo’s property market, the city’s lucky estate agents are behaving like auctioneers, requesting immediate bids after open house viewings. With houses so hard to come by, one alternative is to find a plot of land and build your own – a solution chosen by the owners of the recently completed Villa Melkeveien.
The design, commissioned from local architecture practice LOGG, is an uncompromisingly modern addition to a sunny south facing hillside in the northern suburb of Holmenkollen that provides an architectural contrast to its traditional neighbours. No matter where you choose to build, a hillside plot invariably promises great views, and in Holmenkollen, the view is out over the city with the intense blue of the fjord beyond.
Approached from the up-hill side, the 3,230 sq ft villa appears to be single storey, with a flat roof preventing the building from impeding the view for its neighbours. The exterior features a mix of stone, slate and timber cladding, with zinc used around the edges of the roof.
The villa’s living rooms are arranged in an open plan T shape on the upper level, with a linked living, dining and kitchen area. Seeking to capitalise on those views across the city, the property also features a glazed wall along the south side.
Downstairs is the sleeping accommodation, with a master suite that again makes the most of the views and enjoys its own dressing area and bathroom. There are three further bedrooms, a visitor suite and a spa.
In what architect Diederik Advocaat Clausen calls “a nod towards the villa’s Scandinavian setting”, wood features heavily in the building’s finishes. In this case, much of that wood is Kebony, an engineered material that replaces hardwood cladding. Manufactured locally in Oslo from sustainably sourced softwood, it is impregnated with a preservative derived from food waste, and then heat treated. The result is something that looks just like traditional wood, and ages gently to a silvery patina, but can survive the seasons without warping or needing to be varnished.
Though a Norwegian product, Kebony is already making its mark in the UK, being suitable even for our damp climate. “With Villa Melkeveien we have designed a house that is both the epitome of luxury and also environmentally friendly,” says Advocaat Clausen.
As Europe’s leading oil economy, Norway has enjoyed several strong economic years and its property prices have echoed that, growing strongly and registering an annual increase of 7.2 per cent last year, although there has been a modest reduction in the pace of growth recently.
For those seeking a home in Norway with the style of Villa Melkeveien, it’s a case of first find your building plot. Oslo homes of a similar quality and size, albeit without such a fantastic view, are on the market for around £1.4 million..
For more information on Villa Melkeveien visit kebony.com