These Norwegian Sea Cabins Founded by a Polar Explorer Open Up to the Northern Lights



Perched high above the Arctic Circle, an award-winning retreat on a remote, 55-acre private island is paradise for adventurers and architecture enthusiasts alike.

The resort was envisioned as a base for adventures around the island, of which there are many. Guests can enjoy outdoor activities like diving, kayaking, fishing, mountaineering or take it easy and relax in the sauna, hot water bath, and other social gathering areas.

Breathtaking sea views, wild landscapes, and front-row seats to the Northern Lights await guests at the acclaimed Sea Cabins at Manshausen Island, a one-of-a-kind vacation destination that has recently expanded to include three additional glass-walled cabins and a new sauna.

Founded in June 2015 by Børge Ousland—an acclaimed Norwegian polar explorer who circumnavigated the North Pole and trekked solo across the Arctic and the Antarctic—the Sea Cabins are an environmentally sensitive getaway with seven low-impact cabins designed by Tromsø-based architect Snorre Stinessen.

Located in the protected Steigen Archipelago off the coast of Northern Norway, the remote resort on Manshausen Island is surrounded by a harsh, yet beautiful, environment. All waste is treated on the island, which aims to be completely self-sufficient and off-grid in a few years.

Located in the protected Steigen Archipelago off the coast of Northern Norway, the remote resort on Manshausen Island is surrounded by a harsh, yet beautiful, environment. All waste is treated on the island, which aims to be completely self-sufficient and off-grid in a few years.

Adrien Giret

“Respect for nature and the site is fundamental to this project, and the strategy for sustainable development has also focused primarily on these fundamental principles: minimum impact, size, materials, re-use, traditional and natural principles, waste management, low energy and self-sustainability,” explains Stinessen.

The cabins had to be built a certain height above the water to protect against high tide and predicted sea level rise. The structures are elevated on iron rods drilled into the rock and anchored with steel reclaimed from the island.

The cabins had to be built a certain height above the water to protect against high tide and predicted sea level rise. The structures are elevated on iron rods drilled into the rock and anchored with steel reclaimed from the island.

Kjell Ove Storvik

The new extension, completed last June, introduces three new minimalist cabins set on rocky formations on the island’s north end. Similar to four preceding Stinessen projects, the Sea Cabins are fronted with walls of glass that immerse guests in nature and are strategically placed to minimize site impact and to maximize views.

The cabins are set on rocky formations and oriented for optimal panoramic views and guest privacy. Depending on the time of year, guests can enjoy views of the Northern Lights, the midnight sun, and the continent's largest colony of sea eagles.

The cabins are set on rocky formations and oriented for optimal panoramic views and guest privacy. Depending on the time of year, guests can enjoy views of the Northern Lights, the midnight sun, and the continent’s largest colony of sea eagles.

Kjell Ove Storvik

See the full story on Dwell.com: These Norwegian Sea Cabins Founded by a Polar Explorer Open Up to the Northern Lights
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