I remember hearing someone talking a couple of years ago about a house in the planning a bit north of Oslo. Kjersti Linnerud and her family had engaged Norm Architects to design their new house, and now the house is finished. The result is simply amazing. So well designed, it looks to be a very well functioning home and also an architectural masterpiece. The beautiful view of the lake Mjøsa is taken into consideration and from several places in the house the view is framed beautifully by the windows. The Gjøvik house, consists of overlapping cubes of different sizes, which makes it an intimate and dynamic family home with materials, levels and inbuilt, tailor-made furniture creating a minimal yet warm and secluded feeling. The house gracefully embraces the hill side terrain, merging with its surroundings in a humble and natural manner. Having thoroughly considered the climate in the process of designing the house, the idea behind the cluster style house was to give the home a cosy and inviting feel, where you can truly hibernate and take shelter from the frigid days of Nordic winter.

The house consists of 6 cubes overlapping each other in plan and section. This creates a cosy universe filled with nooks and crannies, and with a continuously surprising flow. Moving through the house, the eye wanders from one room to the next, on to the next again, adding a distinct sense of depth. The intertwining is further highlighted in the choice of materials. Floor becomes wall and wall becomes floor in an ever-changing world of concrete, wood and subtle, warm tones. Having the majority of all furniture built in adds to the soft, yet minimal expression in this unique family home. The modern cluster house gives you the sensation of being together, when not necessarily being in the same room, with thresholds defined by switching levels and materials.

The Gjøvik House is a great example of the essence of Norm Architects´work. The balance between richness and restraint, between order and complexity. Every project by Norm Architects , whether its architecture, interiors, design or creative direction is imbued with the same intrinsic quality, a simplicity that carries bigger ideas. Guided by the body and mind rather than by trends or technology, their projects explore ideas that not only look good but that also feel good: Architecture becomes thoughtful, minimalism acquires softness and visual matter assumes haptic qualities. More by Norm Architects to be found here, the newly opened restaurant Nærvær, their design for EX.T, and the Menu Space in Copenhagen, beautifully captured by Katerina Dima.

photo © Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen / lead architect, Linda Korndal 




The trend of opening up small boutique hotels, who accommodates just a few persons is seen more and more. Vipp opened up their Vipp Loft last week, a luxury hotel with only one room in the centre of Copenhagen. (A 400m2 open space located on the upper floor of the VIPP offices in a former printing factory in Copenhagen’s Islands Brygge area.) Which is nothing like a hotel at all, but a experience like no one else.

Even more spectacular is The Krane, situated on the waterfront of an old harbour in Nordhavn. The Krane is a private retreat for two with amazing views of Copenhagen harbour, the ocean and beyond. A converted crane for loading coal where black is the red thread throughout the interior. The industrial surroundings of The Krane are in sharp contrast to the elegant interior, making this an upscale urban retreat that’s truly one-of-a-kind. Namely, a former crane transformed into a modern, multi-level refuge, replete with a reception area, meeting room, spa, and top floor with a living space, lounge and terrace.

Can you imagine waking up til this view? If I had the chance, I wouldn’t´t let my fear of heights hold me back. It looks quite amazing. In addition one are surrounded by the sober and understated luxury of furniture, lamps and accessories from Menu. With the bright ocean view the dark colors and materials used in the interior must feel very calming at the same time as it intensifies the views outside. Simply put by Joachim Kornbek Engell-Hansen, Brand & Design Director at Menu «The Krane is a new kind of luxury that you can see and sense in the touch and feel of honest materials. The designs. The craftsmanship. The simplicity.»


The Krane was spearheaded by owner and entrepreneur Klaus Kastbjerg and lead architect and master builder Mads Møller, founder of Arcgency, whose shared vision for The Krane was to retain its history and authenticity as an emblem of Nordhavn. Reincarnated into something contemporary but with soul by Menu and Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen, Design Manager at Menu.

photo © Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen




Read, drink, eat. In bed Saturday morning with a coffee, a small breakfast and a book.

Pamper yourself. I got some good advice during a skincare consultation at Aesop last week, and I am taking on new routines.

Go out, breath the fresh air and explore your own city. If you´re in Oslo I recommend a visit to the The Astrup Fearnley Museum at Tjuvholmen. Beautiful architecure and right now the exhibition «Effects by Good Government in the Pit» by Matias Faldbakken is on. The buildings was designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Narud-Stokke-Wiig, and in addition to the museum you will also get a nice sea view as the museum is situated at the outermost point where the city stretches into the Fjord.

Another museum worth visiting in Oslo is the Vigeland Museum right next to the Vigeland Park. The Museum is the result of a unique contract between the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland and the city of Oslo signed in 1921: The Municipality agreed to build a studio, residence and future museum for the artist and his work, and in return Vigeland donated nearly all his works, previous and future, to the city. The museum houses almost the entire work of Vigeland, including  the plaster models to the sculptures in the Vigeland Park.

Is there anything better than ending a walk in the city with a warm cup of coffee? One of the best places to enjoy one in Oslo is at Supreme Roastworks.

photos © Elisabeth Heier





Yet another reason to visit Copenhagen soon again, the new restaurant Nærvær designed by Norm Architects. It seems everything the designers at Norm Architects is doing turns into success, and I am a huge fan of their aesthetics.

With the ambition to create a local wine bar and restaurant emphasised by an intimate and cosy atmosphere that underlines a sense of presence, Nærvær is located in a fairly new and contemporary building. Situated in a prime location of Christianshavn overlooking the canal with a beautiful view Copenhagen’s old city centre, this new place hosts a local winebar as well as an intimate and high-end gourmet restaurant with seating for no more than 10 people. Welcoming Copenhageners as much as the rest of the world, it is a spot where locals and foreigners alike can share great and affordable wines from around the world, as well as a taste of the french kitchen.

Notice the lamps hanging above the bar, also designed by Norm Architects. Constructed from slim oil-burned steel frames, the designers created a series of conceptual and highly industrial lamps for the space, providing warm and soothing light for the winebars´s guests.

With a humble and intimate approach to the interior, Nærvær is formed by a casual atmosphere with small spaces and niches for guests to enjoy. With an interior design defined by an array of stone, wood and metal, the materials are all natural and have deliberately been altered in order to create dark and industrial surfaces that matches the mood of the place. This focus on tactility brings a warm, material richness to the interior that naturally compliments the raw concrete walls and industrial framework of the space.

For this particular project, Norm collaborated with Danish ceramist Maj-Brit Würtz on a special collection of handmade plates, bowls and vases for use at Nærvær. (Her workshop is in the small town of Gilleleje, up north on Sjælland, and would definetly be on my list of places to visit if I were nearby.)

I absolutely love the mix of raw concrete walls, huge green trees, the elegant Gubi Beetle bar stools and Stay lounge chairs and the colors used from the dusty neutrals to the warm red. Perfection.

photos via Norm Architects







Jeg har gledet meg til å vise dere bilder fra utstillingen A COLOUR COMPOSITION, New Norwegian Design som ble vist på den norske ambassaden i Stockholm forrige uke. Både ambassaden, tegnet av arkitekt Knut Knutsen tidlig på 50-tallet og utstillingen kuratert av Kråkvik & D´Orazio var et imponerende syn på åpningskvelden – og bildene er tatt av fotograf Lars Petter Pettersen før gjestene inntok ambassaden. Utstillingen viser det beste av norsk design og kunsthåndverk i dag og ble holdt av SMI (Samarbeidsrådet for møbel og interiør), et nettverk av designere, produsenter, organisasjoner og utdanningsinstitutt som jobber for å styrke norsk møbel- og designindustri.

The exhibition A COLOUR COMPOSITION, New Norwegian Design was shown at the Norwegian Embassy in Stockholm last week – an exhibition that shows the best of new Norwegian design and crafts today. The Norwegian Embassy in Stockholm is one of architect Knut Knutsen´s most iconic buildings, and its original features from the early fifties has been well preserved. The unique rooms in the embassy sat the framework for the special exhibition I was so lucky to see last week. Curated by Norwegian stylist duo Kråkvik & D´Orazio.

Above; 124˙Mirror by Daniel Rybakken/Artek and Levels of Attachment and belongings vase by Lillian Tørlen. Below; Dini sofa by Andreas Engesvik/Fogia, Camp Lounge Chair by Anderssen & Voll/Fora Form, Root sofa table by Runa Klock/Fora Form, Atlas Sculptural shelf by Mikael Pedersen in collaboration with Van Den Weghe. 



Above; Niu sofa by Hallgeir Homstvedt/Hjelle, Pi table by Anderssen & Voll/Fjordfiesta, Balancer lamp by Yuue/Northern Lighting, Un Divided modular furniture system by Stokke Austad/Elementa, Sculptural object by Beate Einen, Wallbox by Sara Polmar, Falla bowl by Linda Svedal Walsøe/Wik & Walsøe, Core lamp by Runa Klock/New Works, Sfera II spherical box by Kristine Bjaadal, limited edition of five.

Below; Bambi chair by Rastad & Relling, relaunched by Fjordfiesta and Utopia Workshop, Dong vessel by Kim Thomé and Aura mirror by Bjørn van den Berg/New Works. 



Above; Woodwork chair by Peter Opsvik/prototype, Tind by Osloform, Paddle pepper grinder and Paddle salt container by Noidoi/Skagerak, Groove plate by Hallgeir Homstvedt/Muuto, Dråpe cutting board by Gridy/Trefjøla, vase by Lillian Tørlen.

Below; Noor chair by Stokke Austad, Form us with love, Grønlund design and Scandinavian Business Seating design team/ Scandinavian Business Seating. Kiila coat stand by Daniel Rybakken/Artek, Bow stool by KnudsenBergHindenes/prototype, Spring tray by Siv Lier/Woud, Dual plate by Sara Polmar/prototype, Torqued lamp by Andreas Bergsaker/prototype, Shaker inspired carpet beater by Vera & Kyte/prototype, Melvin blanket by Kristine Five Melvær/Røros Tweed. 


photo © Lars Petter Pettersen 

En imponerende utstilling norsk design i rammene på den flotte ambassaden i Stockholm, og som Jannicke og Allesandro sier; Som arbeidet til arkitekt Knut Knutsen har vist oss har norsk design sine røtter – men det er kanskje akkurat nå vi er vitner til begynnelsen på en ny norsk design æra.

Stylists Jannicke Kråkvik and Allesandro D´Orazio: As the work of Knut Knutsen has shown us, Norwegian design has its roots, but it just might be right now we are witnessing the dawn of a new Norwegian design era.




Turen til Helsinki ble sponset av Iittala

Det er flere som har savnet fredagsoppsummeringene jeg startet med i høst og som forsvant i en alt for hektisk hverdag. Nå er det på tide å gjøre noe med det, selv om ukene fortsatt flyr avgårde så er det hyggelig når noe er savnet. Det er jo gøy å oppsummere uken og, og vise dere litt annet enn i de vanlige oppdateringene her inne.

Denne uken startet i Helsinki, og å besøke den finske hovedstaden to ganger på tre uker er slett ikke hverdags for meg. Men veldig spennende! Iittala inviterte på pressetur i anledning Aalto vasens 80-års jubileum, og jeg har sett både produksjonen på Iittalas fabrikk og Alvar Aaltos tidligere studio og hjem. Jeg skal vise dere mer fra disse stedene senere, men jeg kan gi dere noen tips til andre steder å besøke i Helsinki så lenge. Bildet over er fra Restaurant Savoy, Alvar Aalto har både tegnet restauranten, innredet den og designet detaljer helt ned til vasene på bordene. Det var nemlig her den kjente Aalto vasen ble vist for første gang. Interiøret er orginalt fra 1937 og virkelig verdt å oppleve. Utsikten (bildet under) og maten er også definitivt verdt turen til en av Helsinkis flotteste restauranter.



Arteks Flagship Store midt i byen er også verdt et besøk. Butikken flyttet inn i den historiske bygningen i midten av mars og for et flott lokale. Artek har hatt butikk i Helsinki i 80 år, og etter noen år på forskjellige adresser har de nå flyttet inn i bygget som er tegnet av Eliel Saarinen og stod ferdig i 1921. Her får du både arkitektur- og designhistorie, Alvar Aalto står bak byggene på begge sider av Artek og Finlands store designere er godt representert i butikken sammen med klassikere fra Vitra, Knoll, String m.fler. Artek ble dannet av Alvar og Aino Aalto, Nils-Gustav Hahl og Marie Gullichsen i 1935 og kort tid etter åpnet de den første Artekbutikken der Aaltos møbler ble solgt sammen med planter, belysning, tekstiler, marokkanske tepper, glass og keramikk i tillegg til annet kunsthåndverk. Ganske annerledes enn det meste andre som fantes på 1930-tallet og starten på en Finsk designinstitusjon.


Vel hjemme igjen etter innholdsrike dager i Helsinki står hele hagen i blomst, og jeg klarer ikke la være å plukke inn noen små grener. Jeg kan nesten ikke tenke meg noe finere enn blomstrende trær, de må nytes den korte tiden det står på. ..og ja, en vase designet for 80 år siden, munnblåst i Finland ble med hjem. Jeg skal vise dere mer senere, det er en imponerede historie.


foto © elisabeth heier

God fredag og pinsehelg!


My weekly friday sum-up has been gone for a while, but after being asked for I´m trying to get back on track with it. :) This week started in beautiful Helsinki. Toghether with a small group of journalists and bloggers I was invited by Iittala to visit the Iittala glass factory and to learn some more about the famous Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto. The Aalto vase has its 80th. anniversary this year, and you can see it in the first photo. Restaurant Savoy was the place where the vase was launched in 1937. Are you visiting Helsinki I would warmly recommend a visit at the restaurant completely designed by Alvar Aalto. Another place to visit is the Artek Flagship Store – a 700 square meter store in a historical building of another famous architect, Eliel Saarinen, filled with great design. More to come from my trip to Helsinki.