Villa Busk House by Sverre Fehn

Sverre Fehn’s Villa Busk stands on the edge of a rocky outcrop with a distant view of the sea. It was built for a musician in 1990. Like many of his buildings, the house has a strong relationship with the surroundings and blends modernity with regionalism. Much like Finland’s Alvar Aalto, Fehn’s buildings have a timelessness that arises from these qualities. The residence resembles a romantic fortress, standing on the edge of a precipitous cliff; it has the appearance of a house-made to accommodate a poetic sensibility.

Villa Busk Technical Information

When the house was completed and the dramatic confrontation between nature and architecture had ceased…, I had the feeling of having dreamt of a trip yet to be taken.   

– Sverre Fehn 

Villa Busk Photographs

Exterior of Busk residence by Sverre Fehn

Villa Busk / Sverre Fehn

Busk House by Sverre Fehn

Villa Busk straddles a ridge adjacent to a valley that runs to the nearby Oslo Fjord to the south and west. The plan is arranged along a linear spine, oriented east to west, rising to the latter end of the house, following the natural terrain (a tower and storage shed break from this linearity). This gesture describes the house’s main theme and Fehn’s work in general: the strength of nature and man’s subordination to nature. In the movement up the stairs to the living room, family members are kept aware of the ground upon which the house is built and any ideological implications.

On the Northside, facing toward the forest plateau, there runs a mostly glass and timber hallway the whole length of the residence.  This path creates a double exterior wall and a less defined sense of exterior and interior, especially felt when in the hallway itself.  Combined with the atrium in the center of the plan, the interior and exterior dissolution is heightened.  Functionally, this hallway path serves as the only circulation space in the plan and emphasizes the central living space’s East-West orientation.

Villa Busk Plans
Site plan Villa Busk by Sverre Fehn

© Sverre Fehn Architects

Floor Plan Villa Busk by Sverre Fehn

© Sverre Fehn Architects

Elevations of Villa Busk by Sverre Fehn

© Sverre Fehn Architects

Busk Section by Sverre Fehn

© Sverre Fehn Architects

Villa Busk Image Gallery

About Sverre Fehn

Sverre Fehn (14 August 1924 – 23 February 2009) was a Norwegian architect born at Kongsberg in Buskerud, Norway.  He received his architectural education at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Oslo. He entered his course of study in 1946 and graduated in 1949.

At the age of 34, Fehn gained international recognition for his design of the Norwegian Pavilion at the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition. In the 1960s, he produced two works that have remained highlights in his career: the Nordic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (1962) and the Hedmark Museum in Hamar (1967–79).

Works of Sverre Fehn