Arkitektstudentens hjem: Jill Saunders

It is no secret that students in general tend to accept living less comfortably than the rest of the population. Architecture students train to be able to design amazing homes, but how do they end up living themselves? Parallel to NRK tv series “The Architect’s Home “, Tidsskriftet A will take a look into the home of the architecture student.
This week we are visiting Jill Saunders who have spent some weeks in NTNU and SINTEFs research facility called Living Lab. The research is focusing on the residents and their usage of technology developed by ZEB (Zero Emission Buildings).


Name: Jill Saunders

Address: Living Lab, 4 Richard Birkelands vei

Rent: Free!

Size: 102 kvm

Roommates: 0 

Floor: 1


Is this a home? What does a home mean to you?

Surprisingly, yes! I was only here for a couple weeks, but it felt like home right away. Home is a place where you feel comfortable, and where you look forward to being at the end of a long day.

How have you put your personal mark on the place?

I’ve moved a lot, so I’m well-practiced at domesticating places. You just need a guitar, a plant, and cookies in the oven.


How important is it for you considering the short stay?

Even for a short stay, it’s nice to have things that make a space feel like your own (instead of like a hotel).

How can one tell that an architecture student lives here?

A lot of drawings and blueprints (of the house, mostly). And textbooks!

Which room is the “heart of the house”?

The living room with the big south window- it lets in a lot of light and makes the whole room feel warm.

What is the best thing about living here?

The best thing is being able to nerd out. Everything has sensors on it, so you can see the environmental conditions and how much energy you use or produce at any given time, which I find super interesting.
Also the commute to school is great 🙂


What is the worst?

The worst thing is that it’s in the middle of a construction site at the moment.

What are your thoughts on all of the built-in furniture?

The built-in furniture is an artifact of when the building was designed for the Solar Decathlon Europe and intended to be shipped to Spain, and everything had to be built-in. I don’t generally mind built-ins in a space where there is only one optimal layout, and I really appreciate the storage, but here the layout can be a bit awkward.


How does it feel to be part of an experiment?

It’s fun! I feel like the house is experimenting on me as much as I am on it- I’ve changed a few of my habits as a result of seeing my own energy usage documented.

Can you describe this home using one word?

Warm. Both literally (there’s 40cm of insulation and underfloor heating through the whole house) and figuratively- the interior is finished in beech, which makes for a really nice space.


Does this home have any secrets?

You can have no secrets in this house! This monitoring system knows more about me than I do- motion sensors can tell what time you wake up, shower, how many people are over, etc. Everything is documented, which could be creepy, but I find really cool- like a high-tech diary.

Photos by: Line Blom Salvesen