You hear about Leave No Trace in reference to hiking and camping, but it isn’t something a lot of people think about when referencing architecture. Norway's Flokehyttene cabins are a different story.
Embedded in the rocks of Sveio off the Norwegian coast, the five timber cabins are the creation of HOLON Arkitektur, which designed them with the rugged coastal landscape and its harsh elements in mind. Commissioned by a branch of the Norwegian Trekking Association with a directive tied to sustainability, each cabin has minimal impact on the ground they're set on. If they're ever taken down, the only proof of their presence would be the four drill holes in the rocky shore that support their legs.
The angularity of the cabins maximizes the view of the stunning landscape, and each building has a panoramic window as a keystone feature that provides a full view of the North Sea. That triangular shape is designed to withstand even the area's harsh elements, serving as protection and providing stability against the harsh climate and strong headwinds that blow in off the ocean.
The cabins were named Flokehyttene after the Viking Floke Vilgerdsson who, in 868, took off from this site to sail to the then-unnamed island of Iceland. Each of the five cabins pay tribute to people who had an important role in Vilgerdsson’s past: Horda-Kåre, Vilgjerd, Geirhild, Tjogerd, and Faxe—his grandfather, mother, and three daughters, respectively. Sitting next to the cabins is the Ryvarden Lighthouse, which marks the entrance to the Bømlafjorden Fjord where Vilgerdsson first began his journey.
Inside, each 194-square-foot cabin comes equipped with a kitchen, living room, bathroom and a fireplace. It's all arranged within triangular floor plans that start narrow at the entrance and open up to the widest point—that massive window—to create the feeling that you're looking out of a cave.
They're small—four of the cabins sleep up to five people where the largest cabin, with addition to being handicap accessible, can sleep up to 10—but the use of a minimalist concrete interior brings in the view, making them feel much more expansive.
Best of all, you can rent one of these cabins yourself on your next trip to Scandinavia.