Forest Houses

Museum of Forest Finn Culture / Svullrya, Norway


International Architectural Competition

Museum of Forest Finn Culture

The Museum is dedicated to the Forest Finns, who came to the east borders of Norway in the 15th century, and were known for their method of ‘slash and burn’ for cultivating the land.

Images of slash and burn fields, of tall forest trees, of conical piles of wood and of wooden huts with their black full of smoke interiors caught our imagination. We imagined little wooden houses with steep sloped roofs gathering under the tall trees, forming larger ones. Like the branches of a tree, the ‘houses’ are joined together to different directions. These Forest Houses became our concept.

Slightly the ‘houses’ turn their ‘faces’ to the river view, mildly cantilevered over the river’s banks. The building adapts to the landscape. When dark, the ‘houses’ offer their distinct facades to the orchestration of a strong memorable image for the Museum.

Wooden structure, planks and trunks give the ‘houses’ their characteristic look. Inspired by the conical piles of wood, we transform the sloped roofs to sharp elongated triangular roofs and combining the intensity of height with the dark smoked interiors.

The Museum extends all on one level. The main linear volume bifurcates to the Exhibition spaces. Along this, the Foyer, the Café, the Auditorium the Meeting Room and the Library, gather together, all facing the river. On the other side, we place administration offices, workshops and storage areas, while in the in-between auxiliary areas.

Structured along a narrative that takes the visitors through the different exhibits, exhibition areas allow them to experience the Forest Finns’ culture. A long window display at the entrance canopy introduces the Forest Finns. Inside the exhibition areas, the museological experience is enhanced by the dark interior while the architectural lighting gives the impression of sunrays penetrating the trees’ foliage.



Rena Sakellaridou, Project Architect, partner in charge (RS SPARCH PC, Athens)

Ragnhild Torsteinsrud-Smith, partner in charge (Meinich Arkitekter AS, Oslo)


RS SPARCH PC: N. Apergis, N. Tsompikou, A. Verteouri, G. Brazioti, K. Skalkogianni, G. Papanikolao, E. Arletou (student)

MEINICH ARKITEKTER AS: E.Lindkjølen, E.Serenko, K.Gdula

SPARCH RENA SAKELLARIDOU SPARCH PC / All rights reserved / 2022

dline cross-b sc-fb sc-tw sc-in ic-refresh ro-rl ro-rr