The Camouflaged Mountain Lodge – Eco Design From Norway
Living in ever crowded cities, we do understand people’s need to be closer to nature. But when everything happens right at the heart of nature, then the perspective completely changes. This is the very impact the Norwegian architecture firm Snohetta relied on when it built a mountain lodge in a secluded area close to a fjord. Seen from the distance, one can hardly notice the small living structure so perfectly it blends into the wild landscape all around.
The hunting lodge is beautifully situated, alone beside a lake in the untouched mountain areas close to Åkrafjorden in the western part of Norway. It is accessible only by foot or horseback. The integration of the hut into the landscape has been an important part of the concept. The terrain is characteristic with grass, heather and rocks, and the hut’s shape, orientation, and materials are dictated by this, the firm says in its presentation.
The architects’ challenge in this task was designing a mountain hut of maximum 35m2 with facilities for 21 persons. In order to achieve space for an amount of guests in a tiny space, they found inspiration in old traditions: a central fireplace as the gathering point. The beds along the walls works as seating in the evening – one furniture for the social, eating, and sleeping. A narrow zone by the entrance has equipment for cooking and storage.
The structure consists of two curved steel beams, connected with a continuous layer of hand cut logs of timber on top – a meeting between modern expression and traditional Norwegian mountain cabins. The roof “grows out of” the landscape, covered with grass. The materials of the facades are local stone, tar treated wood and glass. As a matter of fact, seen from the outside, the windows are the sole visible elements that bring a touch of modernism to the old looking cabin. The main window, which overlaps one of the exterior walls face south to get maximum of natural light.