There's nothing quite like gathering around a crackling fire out of doors, and it's easily argued that modern homo sapiens spends far too little time around this primal element. This simple, cozy but elegant fireplace dome by Norwegian firm Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter -- built for children in a residential neighbourhood -- is one place that will get people quickly re-acquainted with a timeless and universal tradition.
Located in a playground in Trondheim, Norway, the structure doubles as an enclosed place for storytelling around a fire. The conical-shaped hut - looking something like a glowing dollop on the landscape -- is made from recycled materials salvaged from a nearby construction site. Due to the limited budget, short pieces of wood were used in a stacking and offsetting strategy that led to the final whimsical form.
Drawing from local traditions, the designers describe the fireplace as
...[i]nspired by the Norwegian turf huts and old log construction, a 5.2 x 4.5 meters wooden construction was built and mounted on a lighted and brushed concrete base. The structure is made of 80-layered circles. The circles have varied radiuses and relative centre point in relation to each other. Every circle is made out of 28 pieces of naturally impregnated core of pine that are placed with varied spaces to assure chimney effect and natural light. Oak separators differentiate vertically between the pine pieces to assure airflow allowing easy drying of the pine pieces. A double curved sliding door was designed for locking the structure.
Even if it's for children, I would love to sit in there, watching the smoke rise up into the night sky. Truly a gorgeous project that exemplifies the best intersection of re-use, local building and cultural traditions, and budget. More information at Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter.