“A House to Die In” is a project name that may have you imagining a haunted house or spook alley. Admittedly, there is an other-world quality to the house. At first look, you’re left wondering if A House to Die In is actually the spaceship of extraterrestrials, or perhaps the pagan temple doubling as a portal to another world. The snapshot of the house, with it’s snow-covered surroundings, barren trees, and fog-enshrouded atmosphere, adds to the mystique, helping you to realize how it got its name.
In reality, the house is the result of the imaginings of Norwegian artist Bjarne Melgaard. Melgaard reached out to Olav and Frederik Selvaag. With the help of Snøhetta, the residence came to being. The A House to Die In rests on white sculptures. The sculptures appear to be large cartoon cats—bipedal lions wearing shirts and ties. The sculptures hold the house above a small pond, making it appear to be floating above the water.
For building materials, the builders decided to use black burned oak done in the traditional Japanese style. Over the years, the oak will erode away, changing the character of the house through the years and seasons. The plans used both traditional documents as well as 3D modelling.
The house is located on the west side of Oslow, Norway, near the art colony Ekely and Edvard Munch’s former home and atelier. The project is still ongoing with no announced finish date.