Ever wanted to escape to a quiet retreat by the mountains?
At the foot of Hardangervidda, one of the greatest mountain plateaus in Norway, architect Jon Danielsen Aarhus built a pine-clad cabin for his family. It sits 1,066 meters above sea-level and overlooks a stunning view of a vast lake and pristine glaciers.
Cabin building is a bit of an Aarhus family tradition. Jon Aarhus says that his great-great grandparents first built a cabin in Norway in the early 1920s. His grandparents also built a cabin in 1963 which was starting to need some repair. He decided to take the cabin apart piece by piece, and reuse the materials for a new one centered around the gorgeous landscape views. However, given the isolation of this home it wasn’t an easy feat! Because there are no road connections to the area, building materials were flown in by helicopter, while materials for the interior were transported by snow scooter during the winter months.
At such high altitudes, vegetation is slow-growing which meant that groundwork had to be done manually in order to reduce the impact on the surrounding environment.
Though most of the cabin was built by professionals, it remained the product of architect Jon Aarhus’ vision. Inspired by the gapahuk, a Norwegian improvised shelter commonly used when hiking, the cabin features an angled ceiling and an entire wall made out of glass to resemble an open structure. He wanted the main room to maintain its connection with the outside, with the wide windows allowing you continual access to the scenery.
Planning was an important part of the process, as the cabin had to be made weather-proof during the summer and winter months. The main entrance faces the dominant wind-direction to make sure that it doesn’t accumulate snow during the winter season. Even the cabin’s eaves were specifically built to keep frost away from windows.
The cabin is built to withstand Norway’s harsh winters, entirely clad in pine. A fireplace is conveniently located by the entrance, providing extra heat indoors.
About thirteen people can sleep in the cabin, with two bedrooms, one combined living room and bedroom and two lofts. There’s even an attic for storage, important for keeping supplies in winter months.
The main room is spacious, and features an open plan dining room and living space. Plenty of light seeps into the room, almost as if you were outdoors. The floor-to-ceiling glass panels open to breathtaking views, allowing you to take in the changing seasons right in front of your very eyes.
Designed to serve thirteen people, the furniture is minimal in order to save space. The cushions are in playful colors, complementing the natural shade of pine.
Windows are added in every side of the cabin, offering a 360 degree view of the surrounding area.
Combining rest with leisure, this loft bed features a corner for good conversations and gathering.
The cabin has a unique take on its own mudroom. The entire wall is fitted with wooden hooks ready to take on heavy coats and outerwear.
The architect and his family spends most of their time admiring the view through the main room. As the color of the sky changes with the setting sun, it’s no surprise that this cabin is a popular getaway for the family all-year round.
In the summer, the architect hopes to use the rest of the materials from the old cabin for an outbuilding, providing more space for the family.