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Snøhetta And Vipp Built Nest-Like Cabins Giving "The Illusion Of Floating In The Air" In Norway

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Norwegian architecture studio Snøhetta and Danish interior brand Vipp have built nest-like wooden cabins that give the sense of "the illusion of floating in the air" on the edge of Lysefjorden on the Norwegian west coast. 

Called The Bolder Cabins, the four cabins, developed with local entrepreneur Tom Bjarte Norland, are lifted from the ground and designed to blend in with the natural terrain and grasp the best views from the surrounding nature.

The four cabins, named Stylten, Myra, Stjerna, and Eldhuset, are situated on the edge of Lysefjorden. Harmonized with its natural surrounding, the cabins were designed to have a minimal footprint on the surrounding nature. 

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

While the three cabins, Stylten, Myra and Stjerna were completed at site, Eldhuset is expected to be opened around Spring 2023. 

Stylten, Myra and Stjerna offer an area of 38-square-meters, while the larger cabin, Eldhuset has an area of approximately 60 square meters. 

The cabins are lifted from the ground on large concrete pillars and they all have glass facades for guests to have the best views towards their natural surroundings from inside.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

"With the Bolder project, we strived to preserve nature and enhance the experience of moving in an untouched landscape, with the smallest possible footprint on the surroundings," said Snøhetta architect, Frank Denis Foray.

"The cabins are lifted over the ground to create a weightless feeling on the edge of the spectacular, steep mountainsides, diving down into the clear blue fjord." 

"The goal was to create a total experience for the visitors - coming back to a cozy, warm wooden nest with a spectacular panoramic view of the ever-changing weather after a beautiful day of hiking along the fjord," Foray added.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

When guests set into inside, they have the sense of "the illusion of floating in the air" on the edge of the cliff with unobstructed views over the fjord and mountains. 

"Guests are filled with Bonsai-like pine trees and boulders left by the glaciers when the ice age came to an end thousands of years ago," said Snøhetta. 

To mimic the serenity of nature inside the cabins, Snøhetta used a minimalistic design palette with furniture pieces. All furnitures and surfaces include natural and durable materials by using earthy colors and organic textures.

"Thoughtfulness underpins the interior choices and accentuates the meditative flow evoked by the space," the studio added.

A kitchen and dining area, designed by Vipp, are arranged on the upper floor, while a built-in bed and bathroom are designed on the ground floor.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

Main materials used in the interiors are wood, marble, and leather which become the recurring materials in furnitures. In contrast, the studio prefers to use the concrete in flooring on the lower level to add a little bit of roughness to a sensible décor.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

"We are proud to have done this project together with Snøhetta. When we were looking for someone to design these cabins in one of Norway’s most spectacular places, the choice was easy," said Tom Bjarte Norland. 

"For the interior, Vipp has a timeless and honest elegance combined with a solid and functional refinement which is of great importance when you have guests every day. This aesthetic fits well with our concept of architecture in nature," Norland added.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

The choise of materials is inspired by the nature of the building site, dominated by granite and slow-growing pine trees. Snøhetta preferred to work with wood and concrete with aggregate from the actual site as the primary materials for the project. 

In the project site, the studio has removed the existing trees during the construction and have set aside to be re-used for other parts of the projects. The granite that has been cut out of the ground has been used to make the concrete for the construction.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

The wooden cabins are made of untreated red Cedar, while they will gray with time, to create a natural look and blend into the rocky landscape. 

Inside, the studio used the Oak wood that is treated differently in the three small cabins, so visitors can have a slightly different experience when coming back.

The cabins receive natural light through the large glass panels, while the interiors also provide a calming variation of the natural color specter throughout the day and through all kinds of weather.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

"The roof is mirrored on the underside to create an object free from the ground – hovering above the edge. The shape of the overlight is the same in size and placement as the concrete base," said the studio. 

"Asymmetrically placed, it creates the illusion that cabins are tilted out to the fjord, strengthening the sensation of weightlessness," the studio added.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Henrik Moknes / Bitmap

The design team merged walls and roofs so that all elements could be seen from the inside and outside as a uniform shape. 

"Letting the object be singular in the landscape and homogeneous on the inside. This gives the cabins a shallow and solid feeling, in many ways like a nest," said Snøhetta.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

"Details on the inside are minimal and precise to ensure a complete experience with clean surfaces to not interfere with the spectacular view."

The studio also integrated light bridges above the landscape, made of Corten steel, to complement the natural material palette in the area. 

The bridges, lifted above the ground to minimize the footprint, provide the dimmed, neutral lights for the visitors to maintain the view in all directions also when the sun has set.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder

"Adding to the uniqueness of the Bolder cabins with the unobstructed views of the wild and constantly changing environment available day and night from your bedside. A true twenty-four-seven experience," added the studio.

"Except for electricity powering the light and the amenities in the cabins, the site is off the grid." "The naturally sourced spring water coming out of the treatment plant under the parking is cleaner than the water in the local river running over the mountain."

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elisabeth Heier

The Bolder Project will also include two additional constructions set to be completed within the next few years – including a lounge and a gourmet restaurant serving locally sourced food.

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elisabeth Heier

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elisabeth Heier

Snøhetta and Vipp built nest-like cabins giving

Image © Elisabeth Heier

Snøhetta revealed design for the new expansion of Museum Of Sex in Miami. Snøhetta and Danish architetcure practice WERK Arkitekter completed a maritime center on the Danish west coast, taking cues from wooden boat construction in the region.

Project facts

Project name: The Bolder Cabins 

Architects: Snøhetta

Developer and owner: Tom Bjarte Norland

Kitchen and interior partner: Vipp

Location: Lysefjorden, Norway

Size: Stylten, Myra, Stjerna are 38m2. Eldhuset (that opens around Spring 2023) is approx. 60m2.

Top image in the article © Elin Engelsvoll/The Bolder.

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