A Norwegian Summer Cabin Embraces the Rocky Terrain

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
Balancing on irregular, rough-hewn rocks along the Norwegian coast, this renovated summer cabin near a town called Larvik in Vestfold County intelligently navigates a challenging terrain to take full advantage of dramatic views.

Located just about 16 feet from the sea, Lille Arøya—a 807-square-foot summer cabin—perches on a small, rugged island. 

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This part of Vestfold County consists of a number of tiny islands that have exposed rock surfaces of different heights. Such topography is often difficult to safely build upon. 

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Oslo-based practice Lund Hagem Architects took on the challenge, drilling solid galvanized steel columns straight into the rock to provide stable support for the house on the uneven ground. 

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They built a new structure that consists of two volumes:a lower post-and-beam volume where the bedrooms and bathrooms are located, and a taller volume with a large, cantilevered roof with wind-bracing gables that serves as shelter for the living, kitchen, and dining areas. 

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Generous outdoor decks and large, fully-glazed sliding doors provide ample circulation while opening up the cabin to the gorgeous environment. 

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Glulam beams are used inside and out, and both interior and exterior walls are clad in rough sawn ore pine. 

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Together with the raw steel columns and white concrete fireplace, the wood defines the color and mood of the interiors. 

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The uniform aesthetic of the cabin's interior and exterior dissolves the threshold between indoor and outdoor spaces—and further connects the structure with its stunning, coastal landscape. 

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Project Credits: 

- Architecture: Lund Hagem Architects 

- Builder: Holhjem & Lindhjem 

- Structural engineer: Estatikk 

- Lighting: Concept Design 

- Interior Design: Kaja Klingenberg 

- Timber cladding: Svenneby Sag 

- Flashings: Vestfold Kobber og Blikk 

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