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Collection by Laura C. Mallonee

Picture-Perfect Cabin Tucked Away in the Norwegian Forest

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Atelier Oslo overcame nature’s challenges when they designed Cabin Norderhov, a seasonal, eco-friendly retreat on a steep hillside overlooking Lake Steinsfjorden.

You don’t have to have read Walden to dream about owning a cabin in the woods. But what the book reveals is that nature isn’t always very accommodating. Norwegian firm Atelier Oslo experienced this firsthand when it was tasked with designing a holiday retreat on an unforgivingly steep and windy slope in southern Norway’s Krokskogen forest. Instead of trying to rework the site’s challenging topography, the architects conformed their design to it. The resulting design features four slight levels within the 538-square-foot cabin that create natural divisions for living, eating, bathing, and sleeping. Rather than feeling like separate spaces, though, these sections fit together like a geometric puzzle. Floor-to-ceiling windows further the sense of a single, continuous space while ushering in panoramic views of majestic Lake Steinsfjorden.

The cabin’s exterior walls and roof are clad in overlapping stone plates that mimic the look of traditional wood...
The layout revolves around a central “campfire” that burns beneath a suspended mantel.
The cabin’s undulating curves are fixed by a prefabricated, laminated wood structure with a subdivision of Kerto...
The architects designed the large glass expanses in the dining and living areas so that their frames are hidden from...
Bae Brandtzaeg describes the cabin as “one large piece of furniture,” since the height difference between its varying...
The hideaway grows darker as residents move through the space toward the bedroom.
Since there is no running water, the architects installed a composting, vacuum toilet by JETS that filters the...
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