This 800 square foot A-frame was the fi rst whole tree building Roald Gundersen constructed. The structure is comprised of aspen poles which support the strawbale roof. The central column (and railing) is one branching tree. The house was built in 1994 at a cost of $15 per square foot, a testament to the affordability of local material use. The lower fl oor contains kitchen, living space and bath while a second floor loft overlooks the main living area and houses the sleeping space. The house augments passive solar heat with a wood stove in the basement. Water is provided through a hydro-powered water ram on the near by stream and the entire complex of farm, home and design studio is off the grid and powered by a 1.4 kW photo voltaic panel.
This $250 million project was run by Space Biosphere Ventures, where Roald Gundersen served as a project architect. Biosphere 2 is a closed life-support experiment, built to test the interaction between biological systems over a hundred-year period. Responsibilities included: Client contact design through construction; Coordination of 16 consultants on design, drafting, specifications, and budgets; Supervision of a 5 person CAD team; Construction management; Overseeing the efficient quality execution of 12 bid sets by over 30 trades; and Design of analytical and medical laboratories, computer and video control room, workshops, kitchen and food processing, animal husbandry area, apartments, library and observatory, and equipment rooms.
This lodge is part of an eco-tourism development on an 18 acre site in a dry jungle on the northwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste Province. This project used local construction labor, materials and techniques. Local Teak wood forest thinnings were used for pole framing; foundations and fireplaces were built using local stone, and local artisans sculpted the masonry. Local craftsmen also built the wood windows and doors from regional materials. The design nods to the local architectural vernacular with tall vented roofs and large overhangs to keep the interior cool without air conditioning.
Roald Gundersen worked as the Project Designer with K&CZL Architects & Planners on this $17 million restoration and remodel of the 1877 St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The paintings on the left side of this page are among seven beaux arts style watercolor renderings that Roald executed for this project. Other responsibilities on this project included: Design of a 50,000 square foot Chancery/Rectory/Parish Hall; Client contact in programming and design presentation; Coordination of seven consultants on design and CAD; Coordination of consultants and specialty craftsmen for earthquake reinforcing, stained glass restoration, exterior plaster restoration, sculpture and painting restoration and remodeling, and the restoration of a 100-year-old mechanical organ; and Design of liturgical furniture and altars.
Location: Soldiers Grove, WI
Completion Year: 2000
The Behar Greenhouse is a model of passive solar sustainability. The frame is made of locally milled Black Locust timber. The in-bed thermal air exchange system and expandable end wall allow for tight control of temperature. The growing tables are suspended from overhead tracks that allow for more efficient use of space and the base vents give access into the cold frame along the base of the south wall to harden off young plants.