Kalsholmen Safe House
Kalsholmen, Norway
66°54'52.1"N 13°5'30.7"E

Shelter / Sauna
Completed 2021


Along the coast of northern Norway lies the island of Kalsholmen: a barren rock in the vast ocean, with a small, white lighthouse at its top. In 1917, a hurricane destroyed the first lighthouse that was situated on a neighboring island. Following this tragedy, a new lighthouse was built in 1919 on Kalsholmen. Automated and depopulated in 1993, today the lighthouse only welcomes the occasional visitor, if the weather allows.

The safe house consists of four sleeping shelters and one sauna, all connected to form one protected space in the center. This space seeks to create a safe and comfortable microclimate on the exposed island by staying low and hugging the ground in order to keep from being blown away by the winter storms, but is pulled up just high enough to keep it from being swept away by the high tides. The construction is kept simple, consisting of only 2x3 and 2x8 wooden members. It is easy to maintain and over time, will turn grey and blend in with the surrounding bedrock.

The project was developed in a 2+2 week design and build workshop in collaboration with Studio NN in the early summer of 2021. On an island without water or electricity, our project offers a place to sleep, cook, and keep warm around a bonfire, all while being accompanied by the many turns and ever-fluctuating moments of the ocean.

Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Studio NN

Design Team
Sami Rintala, Navid Navid, and Harald Seljesæter

Meløy Adventure, Øyvind Gjersvik

Sami Rintala, Navid Navid, Harald Seljesæter, and Virginia Exposito Bouza

Sami Rintala, Navid Navid, Harald Seljesæter, and Virginia Exposito Bouza