Solvår Wågø, Eli Støa


Post-war residential architecture in Norway is characterised by modernist
ideals regarding daylight, fresh air and contact with nature, qualities
that are regarded as essential for residents well-being and health. An
increased focus on buildings energy consumption may have influenced
these issues because smaller openings, thicker walls and restrictions on
natural airflow are often elements of low-energy architecture. Does the
design of contemporary low-energy housing therefore imply a modified
understanding of daylight, fresh air, view, and visual and sensory contact
with the outdoors and the significance of these qualities?

This article presents results based on a comparative and critical discussion
of how qualities such as daylight, fresh air and view are dealt with
by the architects in selected new energy-efficient housing projects in
Norway. The article is based on interviews with architects at nine Norwegian
offices and an investigation of six low-energy housing projects
representing different technologies and design principles. The aim of
the article is to examine whether the architects experience presents
a conflict between the focus on energy efficiency and the objective to
create attractive housing solutions and whether the focus on energy
efficiency has led to a modified understanding of some of the modernist
ideals mentioned.

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