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Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Nordic Architecture Norway

Vedahaugane. Photo: Guri Dahl& Roger Ellingsen, Statens Vegvesen

Living in the landscape After several years in big firms working on large projects, Lars J Berge made the decision to go solo ten years ago. Since then, LJB Architecture and Landscape has expanded from a laptop on the kitchen table to an office with three architects in the centre of Bergen. By Andrea Bærland | Photos: Hampus Berndtson

“After a while I realised that in a large firm, you’re just a small component in a huge machine, and have less of an impact on the final result. I have found greater joy working with small- and medium-sized projects,” says Berge. Berge, who has also studied landscaping, believes that the outcome of a project will be better if the two disciplines of landscaping and architecture are seen as one, rather than two entirely separate projects. He would rather take on smaller projects where he gets to do everything. “I have found that if you work on a project you re-

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ally like, and that you can really take charge of, the outcome will be of a calibre that will lead you to get more of the kind of jobs you like best,” Berge says.

tiles: “You have to draw the line somewhere,” he laughs. To him it is paramount how the inside and the outside of the building relate to its surroundings. “Sometimes you just have to listen to the landscape to come up with a solution. It is very important to me that the surroundings are comfortable with the structure, and that the structure is comfortable in its surroundings.” Tradition over trend Berge isn’t particularly concerned with current architectural trends. For him regional building styles play a bigger part in the design.

As nature intended Working on projects surrounded by the great outdoors is where Berge is most comfortable. “It’s not that I have anything against city projects, but personally I enjoy working close to nature in larger landscapes,” he says. Berge claims not to be the kind of architect to dictate your choice of bathroom

Growing up on a farm near the Hardangerfjord, he has found much inspiration in old farm buildings. “They are all built with a set purpose, from locally sourced materials, with the mindset of ‘OK, we have to build a house, what do we have to build it with?’ Those trees over there,” Berge says. “I really enjoy things that are very slow and very dogmatic.”

Profile for Scan Group

Scan Magazine | Issue 69 | October 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with actress Signe Egholm Olsen.

Scan Magazine | Issue 69 | October 2014  

Promoting Brand Scandinavia. Featuring interview with actress Signe Egholm Olsen.