Kebony welcomes a new kind of holiday
The artist’s retreat, founded by Norwegian composer and musician Håvard Lund, provides a tranquil haven to focus on creative pursuits. Completed in August 2016, the retreat, aptly named Fordypningsrommet or ‘room for deeper studies’ started out with just six mono-functional Kebony clad houses. Growing demand has since led to the completion of three more buildings and now the retreat is able to accommodate up to 12 guests.
Situated north of the Arctic Circle on the stunning island of archipelago Fleinvær, which encompasses between 200 and 300 islands, the artists’ retreat blends seamlessly into the surrounding rocky landscape. Each house is built on top of angled steel feet which creates a dramatic effect through the use of sharp lines and angles.
The stylised architecture provides each house, consisting of a sauna, kitchen house, studio, bath house, sleeping houses and the so called Njalla or ‘tower for big thoughts’, with a degree of individuality. The exposed position of the retreat on the picturesque coastline provides a dramatic and ever-changing backdrop, with crisp coastal breezes bringing in the morning to the tranquil majesty of the Northern Lights illuminating the night sky.
This stunning setting is sure to inspire tranquillity and lend intensity to both recreational and artistic pursuits of its vacationers. On a self-catering basis, groups up to 12 people are welcome to visit for a week for the price of 30,000 NOK (€3,600), while artists wishing to stay for free at the retreat must be approved by a committee of three comprising; Musician, Nora Taksdal, Director, Katrine Strøm and General Manager, Håvard Lund. Those who are successful are required to pay for their travel to Bodø, however, beyond that everything in their stay is free of charge. At the end of their stay artists are invited to display their work at a public meeting which takes the form of a pre-show or lecture to the other artists staying on the remote island.
This aspect of sharing knowledge is an integral part of the ethos at the retreat, and the architectural workshops conducted there have inspired students from all over the world, enabling them to acquire additional skills from preparing food to learning to fish.
The retreat is intended to be a return to nature as well as an artistic endeavour, and as such there has been a strong emphasis on sustainability throughout. Kebony, the sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood was carefully selected as the cladding material for each house. The Kebony technology uses an environmentally friendly process, which enhances the properties of sustainable softwood with a bio-based liquid derived from agricultural crop waste.
By polymerising the wood’s cell wall with furfuryl alcohol, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability, similar to the characteristics of tropical hardwood. Shortly after installation started, the Kebony wood has begun to develop a delicate silver patina, as it weathers naturally. The dappled silvery tones of the wood give the buildings a truly natural aesthetic as they perfectly complement the surrounding and unspoilt scenery.
Håvard Lund, General Manager of the retreat commented: “The objective of our retreat is that visitors are able to experience an undisturbed stay out here amongst nature, finding the inspiration to embark on a new creative journey.”
Mette Valen, Sales Manager Norway at Kebony said of the project: “We at Kebony love this project – Håvard is so passionate about it, and now that we can hear from the guests that have stayed here, we can see that they love the idea and the design as well. The buildings are all stylistically interesting and are an artistic endeavour themselves. We look forward to hearing about all the work that will be done here in the future.”
Photography © Kathrine Sørgård, Fredrik Asplin