Monastery for Cistercian nuns, Taura Island, Norway by Jensen & Skodvin


The following project is situated on the island Tautra in the Trondheimsfjord in Norway. It is a new monastery for 18 nuns and includes a small church and all the facilities needed to make a living, as areas for production and so on.



The monastery was founded by nons from different countries, mostly the US, but all from the Cistercian order, joined by their common vision to create a new convent on the Tautra Island. The site where the new monastery is build, hosts the ruins of a 13th century abbey. The project started and 2005 and was finished in 2006.img_2205


The project consists of a system with different sized rooms that are connected in the corners and linked by courts. Altogether there are 7 gardens, created by courts between the rooms. The nuns have been very active clients and have planned the landscaping and fencing around the convent and the seven gardens themselves in close cooperation with the professionals from the local congregation.



The building is constructed with laminated spruce wood (215x215mm). The dimension makes it possible to frame all walls so the corners would solved intrinsically, because the pillars would always cover the whole corner. The outer surfaces of the buildins are made out of an unusual use of stone: a collage of thin stripes of differently colored stones, used like this to blend harmoniously with the Norwegian landscape. The slabs are fastened to the structure with several metal clamps.



The nuns made some changes to the original plans, to have the complex more in line with theire beliefs. The original covered area was reduced by 30% and the walkways were eliminated for the sake of miniature gardens. No wood veneer could be used on the inside walls because it would distract the nuns from their prayers.


Awards: – Forum Aid Award 2007
                  – Selected work, Mies van der Rohe prize for Architecture 2006
                  – Arets Bygg 2006
                  – Marmomac International Stone Award 2007

More info on Jsa.Taura 
[Pictures and info from]


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