House of Shingles

Photography by Pasi Aalto & Åse Mikkelsen


Architect August Schmidt built a house as a challenge to the accepted conventions of energy solutions and construction practices. Dikehaugen 12 is a small family home sited between tall spruce trees at the outskirts of Trondheim. 

There are three pitched roof volumes: sauna, main house and outhouse, all clad with pine shingles. In the architecture website archdaily.com, August Schmidt writes, “With Dikehaugen I wanted to challenge standard solutions to technical building regulations, but sought to comply with the area plan … This framework resulted in a compact one-family home, which is also a good solution if you want an energy efficient house.”

The project aimed at keeping a high standard in planning, materials, construction, and design, with the architect involved in and in charge of all aspects of the building process; client, designer, contractor and, at times, the builder.

The house is built solely on wood, plant-based, recyclable materials. With its simple and sound solutions and architectural design, Schmidt aimed at giving the house a long lifespan. It has limited heated floor space and binds co2 in its construction, and when it has reached the end of its life, Dikehaugen 12 will produce a minimum of non-recyclable waste. 

“I wanted the project to comply with the character of the plot, and not alter the terrain. Little mass was shifted on the site, while the small hut was re-used and redesigned as an annex to the main building. The three buildings are all saddle-roofed, shingle-clad buildings, placed on site to create outdoor spaces, between the buildings, and spaces which transitt on the neighbouring forest.”