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Skaugum Estate

Skaugum Estate is the residence of the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. The farm lies in Asker municipality, southwest of Oslo, and has a history dating back to the Middle Ages.

Skaugum originally belonged to the convent of Nonneseter and Mariakirken (Church of Mary) in Oslo, but since then it has changed hands several times. In 1909 it was purchased by Government Minister Fritz Wedel-Jarlsberg. When Crown Prince Olav married Princess Märtha in 1929, Wedel-Jarlsberg solved the problem of where they should live by presenting them with Skaugum as an possible official residence, and they moved in that same year.

However, in the following year the entire main building burned down, and a new home had to be built. The architect Arnstein Arneberg was commissioned to design the new house, and in 1932 it was ready for the royal couple.

King Olav V lived at Skaugum until 1968, when Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja moved in that same year. They lived there until summer 2001, when they moved into their newly renovated apartments at the Royal Palace.

Renovations were made in 2002, and Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit were able to move in during December 2003.

Architecture

Skaugum farm is situated high above the town of Asker, with Skaugum Hill behind it. The main house rises above cultivated farmland on one side with the beautiful garden and park stretching westwards from the back of the building.

The plans made after the fire in 1930 were based as far as possible on the original layout, so as to take advantage of what remained of the foundations and cellars. It was also decided that the dining room would retain the original dimensions.

Thus the building plan follows the original L-shaped layout, with one main wing facing the garden and the view, and the service facilities grouped together in the other. Combining a low roof with a dining room that has a ceiling height of 5 metres and a breadth of 8 metres was an architectural challenge, and of course placed constraints on the design. It was decided not to rebuild the house in the same style but in one that reflected the transition from Neo-Classicism to Functionalism, with clean, simple lines and functional solutions.

Skaugum was rebuilt in brick instead of wood, this being a more fireproof material. The brick facade reflects the emerging functionalism of the period, with elements of Neo-Classicism. The brick is faced with colour-washed stucco and the row of large windows on the first floor reflects the design of the reception rooms, which lead out of one another, facing the view. The less important rooms are on the floor above.

The architect has designed Skaugum as a home where family life takes precedence over official entertaining and events. The various rooms were also designed around the furniture that had been rescued from the flames.

Later renovation

The main house has been periodically upgraded. The most comprehensive upgrading was carried out in 2002 - 2003, when the main house was renovated and apartments built for the Crown Prince and Crown Princess. 

In 2009, work was done on the facade of the main house and the terraces.

09.11.2012