A multigenerational Oslo-based family were squeezed for space in their traditional 1980s log cabin near Hardangervidda National Park—so they tapped Gartnerfuglen Arkitekter to design an extension that would better accommodate holiday get-togethers and provide a closer connection to nature.
Rather than simply mirror the original building, the architects crafted a contemporary timber-clad dwelling with a dramatic stepped roof that looks like an extension of the landscape and provides an architectural contrast to the log cabin.
"A big part of the Norwegian lifestyle is going hiking in the mountains, and a natural destination is the peak," say the architects. "For the extension to really become part of the landscape we wanted to also make it possible to reach the ‘peak’ of the building. We like the thought of creating spaces where you wouldn’t expect; the stepped roof adds an additional ‘layer of space’ to the building."
Inspired by Sondre Norheim—the father of modern skiing, who was known for using roofs as ski jumps—the nearly 20-foot-tall roof doubles as a launchpad for activities in winter, when the snow often piles up five feet.
"In winter, the kids in the family spend all day outside playing in the snow," note the architects. "Skiing on—and jumping from—the roof is a fun challenge for the daredevils."
As with the stepped roof, the interior also lifts inspiration from the outdoor landscape with its minimalist and open-plan design that encourages continuous evolution.
"The interiors are to be used as a ‘landscape,’ anonymous and without guidance. The exposed columns can be used to hang art, shelves, and furniture—such as horizontal steel poles for drying paintings or hanging newspapers and magazines—whatever is convenient there and then," explain the architects. "It is not a room where one art piece stays in the same position for decades."
"Our intention is that the minimalism will encourage life to be lived spontaneously, and that this lived life will give the interior more and more character over time."
Builder/ General Contractor: Telemark Miljøbygg
Structural Engineer: Gartnerfuglen Arkitekter
Cabinetry Design/ Installation: Eivind Kleppo
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