Located in the mountainous area of Filefjell, Norway, a stunning, solitary cabin peeks out over the snow-covered landscape. Designed by Oslo-based firm Helen & Hard Architects, the beautiful Gubrandslie Cabin, which is made out of prefabricated solid wood panels, is designed to provide a low-impact shelter that can withstand the extreme climate characterized by harsh wind and snow.
Located on the border of Jotunheimen National Park, the private, 1,184-square-foot home is sturdy enough to withstand the weather while simultaneously leaving minimal impact on the pristine landscape. Large snow falls can wreck havoc on structures in this area, so the architects built the cabin to be inherently sheltered from the elements.
The first step in creating the resilient design was to research the local climate and geography. Using extensive wind studies as a guide, the architects formed the home’s volume into an L-shape to mimic the slope of the landscape. Additionally, the cabin is integrated deep into the terrain to protect it from the elements. The roofs are slightly slanted in order to make it easier for the wind and snow to blow over the structure, avoiding heavy snow loads.
Using the same climate to the home’s advantage, the architects were focused on creating a serene living space that took full advantage of the stunning, wintry landscape. The volume of the cabin is divided into three levels that follow the topography. The ground floor, which is embedded into the landscape, houses a sauna as well as the garage and plenty of storage.
On the first floor, an all-glass facade makes up the entryway, which leads into a spacious, open-plan living area. The living, kitchen and dining space was orientated to face another wall of floor-to-ceiling glass panels, providing breathtaking views of the exterior landscape. On the back side of the cabin, which houses the bedrooms, clerestory windows follow the length of the structure, allowing natural light to flow into the spaces without sacrificing privacy.
Photography by Rasmus Norlander and Ragnar Hartvig via Helen & Hard Architects