Bergen safe house

The Bergen Safe House is a temporary multi-purpose city structure, designed and built by Max Rink (Rink Tilanus), Rachel Griffin (Earnest Studio) and Simon de Jong during a 4-day competition in Bergen, Norway. The structure uses the protective qualities of burnt wood, while simultaneously serving as a monument to Bergen's venerable history of city fires.

The relationship between man and fire is an old one, characterized by a balance of safety and destruction. Fire provides warmth and comfort, yet the city of Bergen has burned to the ground 16 times in the last 800 years.

The Bergen Safe House embodies this dichotomy. Made entirely of 5 x 5 cm beams, the exterior facade of the structure is burned so that the outermost layer of the wood turns to charcoal. This charcoal layer protects the structure from future fires, rot and insects, while leaving the interior enclosed, untouched and safe.

The interior of the Safehouse consists of multi-level moveable platforms that can be arranged in different configurations. In this way, space is provided for sleeping, seating, working and socializing for up to 28 people, as well as allowing for a way to move vertically through the space.


construction : 2012
team : Max Rink, Rachel Griffin, Simon de Jong