Mågerø is the King’s and Queen’s private holiday retreat, and is situated on a headland in Tjøme in southern Norway.
In 1992 the King and Queen expressed a wish to design a new summer retreat. They stipulated a comprehensive set of conditions, which covered everything from the financial aspects to aesthetic guidelines: the house was to be simple, modern and built of natural materials. Sixty architects applied for the commission, and three were selected for the design competition. The winning project, designed by Lund Hagem Arkitekter A/S, was chosen partly because it blended so well with the surrounding landscape.
The Royal Family was able to start using Mågerø in 1993.
Mågerø consists of a complex of buildings. With their weathered timber cladding and stone exteriors, the houses merge with the uneven ground, and the varied sizes and shapes of the windows – small openings alternating with large glass spaces – frame views of the landscape and allow communication with nature in a variety of ways.
The design is a contemporary interpretation of the basic principle of traditional Norwegian architecture: that a building should not pollute, either physically or visually, but should follow the rhythm of its natural surroundings.