An Outdated Norwegian Prefab Gets a Modern Makeover

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Located in the serene Snarøya peninsula of Norway, an old modular prefab receives news life, thanks to a stunning renovation.

After yearning to renovate their existing prefabricated home, the owners turned to Oslo–based architecture firm Skapa for assistance. The team worked to accentuate the strength of the dwelling, while brightening and opening up the home to the surrounding seaside views. 

The Moelven modular prefab, before and after renovation.

The Moelven modular prefab, before and after renovation.

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The updated home in Norway's Snarøya peninsula.

The updated home in Norway's Snarøya peninsula.

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Skapa made the house’s gable form more contemporary by removing the overhanging eaves, and replacing the dark sidings and roof with lighter-colored cedar boards for a cleaner and lighter aesthetic. 

Here's a look at the new siding of the renovated prefab.

Here's a look at the new siding of the renovated prefab.

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Using hidden gutters and scarce transitions, the architects designed the house to have a defined volume, and distinctly modern profile. 

A long walkway leads to the pool.

A long walkway leads to the pool.

The cedar cladding is also used for the roof to homogenize the exterior surfaces, and to unify the renovated building with a new extension, which was built at the rear of the site. 

The new extension connects the pool deck and lawn.

The new extension connects the pool deck and lawn.

This new structure houses an additional living area, and is connected to the main house via a deck and lawn that surrounds the swimming pool

The unobstructed sea views, along with the cozy fireplace, makes the living lounge a wonderful place to unwind and relax.

The unobstructed sea views, along with the cozy fireplace, makes the living lounge a wonderful place to unwind and relax.

The architects installed sliding doors on one corner of this addition. These doors fully retract to connect the new living area to the pool. 

The courtyard-like area connecting the old and new building is now a superb space for outdoor entertaining. <br>

The courtyard-like area connecting the old and new building is now a superb space for outdoor entertaining.

The layout of the remodeled 2,691-square-foot home—which includes the main house, garage and new extension—creates a courtyard-like area between the buildings that can now serve as a wonderful outdoor spot for gatherings. 

The dining room opens to a raised outdoor deck.

The dining room opens to a raised outdoor deck.

The deck is accessible via both the living and dining area.

The deck is accessible via both the living and dining area.

Within the main house are two bedrooms and a bathroom, as well as a staircase that descends to a basement where a study, more bedrooms, a sauna, and technical areas are located. Both the living area and basement study open onto terraces that look out to breathtaking views of the sea. 

The study opens up to the spacious backyard.

The study opens up to the spacious backyard.

Full-height windows were used to frame views of the surrounding nature. Large apertures were incorporated to both the existing prefab and the new extension to strengthen the house’s visual connectivity to the outdoors. 

Thanks to the renovation, the prefab is now able to fully capture the serene seaside views.

Thanks to the renovation, the prefab is now able to fully capture the serene seaside views.

"The material choice and design language is adapted from the character of the main house, but the structures are lower and more open to form a natural hierarchy," the architects explain. 

The house is now home to a cedar clad garage door.

The house is now home to a cedar clad garage door.

Here's a peek at a drawing of the layout.

Here's a peek at a drawing of the layout.

Above is another drawing of the plan's cross section.

Above is another drawing of the plan's cross section.

Project Credits:

Architecture: Skapa Arkitekter 

Builder: M2 entrepenør