The little island of Tautra in the Norweigan fjords provides the breath-taking setting for a wooden monastery, built by the architectural firm Jensen and Skodvin as a sanctuary for a group of 18 Cistercien nuns.
The architectural piece uses wood to create the entire structure. Additionally, all the interior decor and furniture is made using the same material as the rest of the building.
An architectural project by Jensen & Skodvin
The project to design and build the monastery on Tautra Island was submitted to the firm of architects Jensen & Skodvin, who completed their design over 2003-2004. After slight readjustments and approval from the nuns themselves, the painstaking construction process began in 2004. The building was eventually completed in 2016.
Since then, tiny Tautra island has been home to one of the most spectacular contemporary timber structures to be found anywhere. The total built area comprises 2000 metres, which accommodates the chapel, the nuns’ private chambers and various communal areas.
To ensure the monastery be functional for its inhabitants, the architects played with the natural light available; each room has its own personality, with daylight and shadows creating dramatic scenes within. The views out over the Trondheim fjord add to the overall uniqueness of the place and its unsettling aesthetic.
The building’s frame is made entirely of laminated spruce, with internal rockwool insulation and on the outside, pine, birch and beech cladding.
The most impressive area is the chapel: a glass roof provides views to the exterior, while natural light permeates the area, playing a game of light and shadows on the ceiling.