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Seljord Workshop Structures in Norway

Telemark county Project – design by Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Norway

2 Feb 2010

Seljord Designs


During 25.9.-3.10.2009 the students of NABA, Politecnico di Milano and Fredrikstad Scenography School designed and constructed three structures around the lake Seljord in Telemark county, South Norway.

The structures had three main reasons to be built, firstly to be used as stopping places for travelers and tourists, secondly to serve as meeting points for the local inhabitants, and thirdly to comment on the local stories of a sea serpent, a continuing myth with frequent observations spanning over a hundred years of time.

At the same time, this workshop is also part of larger activity, a project called Seljord and Sågene, coordinated by Springer Kulturstudio, organized to revitalize the local economy and to invite more people to move to the area which today suffers of desertification and aging processes.

Seljord Viewpoint

Seljord Buildings, Telemark county, Norway

Seljord Viewpoint Seljord Viewpoint
Viewpoint is situated on the Northern side of the lake on a hillside, offering a scenic view over most of the lake and valley. The project is a group of six spaces or rooms forming a circle in the edge of the forest and the bare bedrock.

Seljord Sauna
Seljord sauna Seljord smoke sauna
Smoke sauna was built in a bay on the Southern side of the lake by the road. It is standing on pillars due to flooding, consists of sauna room with smoke fireplace and a terrace. The building acts as a wall creatinga more private situation on the lake side, turning a more closed side to the road. Owing to a ramp from the road, It is possible to enter the sauna also with wheelchair.

Seljord Fishing Point
Seljord Fishing camp Seljord Fishing point Seljord Fishing
Fishing camp is to be found in the tip of Tellnes peninsula, roughly in the center of the lake. This installation is carefully located in a bedrock crack in order to maintain the open landscape as it was.
It offers a bridge for easier communication, a roofed shelter and a fireplace.

Design and site visit took place 25.9. and 26.9., the building period was during 27.6.-3.10. Main material is wood, with natural stone fundament.
These three installations will also support the largest project, a viewing tower to be built later closer to Seljord center by the lake shore.

In Seljord 3.10.2009,

Luca Poncellini, NABA
Massimiliano Spadoni, NABA
Dagur Eggertsson, RintalaEggertsson
Sami Rintala, RintalaEggertsson

Seljord Fishing camp:
Seljord Fishing camp Seljord Fishing point Seljord Fishing


Invite a group of friends, family or the like to have a sauna at 18.00 Saturday
(suggestive example time to clarify the whole timetable). Ideal total number of individuals is between 1-10.

Get to the sauna around 13.00 to start warming to stove with good quality birch firewood. Hang some meat/ fish from the roof to be smoked along the warming if wished. Lay the drinks in cold water. Collect a larger around 50 liters bucket full of water for washing inside the sauna room.

Maintain a constant fire in the sauna until 17.30, adding firewood and not letting the fire die out. Remember to keep your own inner humidity high during the warming process.

At 17.30, distinguish the fire and open door + the smoke latch on the wall to air all smoke out. Then close the openings and let the room heat up again.

At 18.00 the sauna should be around 80-90 degrees C warm, without fire or smoke inside. The walls have become beautifully darker, the meat/ fish is smoked and drinks are cold.

Serve the food and drinks, get rid of all your clothing, and so should do the others. Offer all participants their towel and seat cover . Enter the sauna room, throw clean water on the stones and enjoy. When you feel hot enough, run out and plunge in the lake. Serve the food and the drinks again. Repeat this as many times as you want. The whole ritual should last several hours and without any kind of hurry or competition.

In the end wash yourself with water and natural soap ( tar soap or the like).
No harmful washing chemicals should be used in this sauna since the washing water will finally end up in the lake itself.

Rinse the sauna room and benches with water and brush, and leave enough heat to dry the room after using.

When there are mixed groups, women usually go first. Or all go together. This is a matter of taste, as with all culture things.

If necessary, a special one-day hands-on course on sauna bathing can be ordered from Rintala Eggertsson Architects, a leading specialist on bathing experiences.

Seljord Smoke sauna:
Seljord sauna building Norwegian smoke sauna
photos © Tone Telnes

Sami Rintala, Bodø 2.10. 2009

Seljord Design images / information from Rintala Eggertsson Architects

Rintala Eggertsson Architects

Location: Seljord, Norway

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