This Norwegian Cabin’s Roof Doubles as an Observation Deck
An observation roof and outdoor room extend the small footprint into the coastal landscape, while selective materials help it blend in.
“The project started with an idea of how to utilize this naturally sheltered area surrounded by large rocks and dense vegetation,” writes Lung Hagem Arkitekter, the firm responsible for this tinyvacation home in Sandefjord, a coastal town 120 kilometers south of Oslo. The home is only accessible by boat or a path through dense forest, and clocks in at 30 square meters, or 322 square feet. Its design capitalizes on the natural privacy of the secluded site.
The building functions as a sort of glassed atrium that houses an open living space, small bathroom, and mezzanine bed that sleeps two.
Its distinctive roof shape forms steps to an observation deck. The architects write, “The idea developed to create a way to climb up from this shelter to see the panoramic view over the sea, which led to the characteristic shape of the roof: a stepped ramp leading up from the terrain…connecting to the landscape beyond.”
A west-facing concrete terrace with a fire pit encourages outdoor enjoyment day or night. “It is vital that these outdoor rooms are sheltered from the wind, so in this project the building itself forms a sheltering screen,” write the architects.
Interestingly, the firm chose to “restrict” views from inside the house, forcing the focus to the “intimate aspects” of the home’s setting. The simple material palette, including oak, white concrete, and glass, further makes the tiny cabin feel of a piece with the surroundings.