Lars Petter Pettersen
In contemporary times the cabin seems synonymous with escape. Escape from the daily grind, from the city, from inboxes. Such escape also often comes aligned with a want to gather with family and friends (which of course, is sadly quite difficult these days). Providing a solution to the question of how to balance a need to retreat with a connection to community is Norwegian studio Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter and their Micro Cluster Cabins commission.
Not unlike the coastal-Maine project Little House on the Ferry, this trio of cabins in Vestfold, Norway divides a traditional house plan into three separate units—a communal living and dining cabin and two dedicated sleeping and bathing cabins—to allow for personal boundaries in such a modest space.
Designed with the client’s growing family in mind, the layout provides both public and private spaces. The three cabins surround a central courtyard, where a small deck sits in their shade and provides access points to the surrounding site.
At the base of a boulder outcrop, the southwest-facing facade of the communal cabin features floor-to-ceiling windows that let in light and views, while the sleeping cabins feature tall, thin windows for increased privacy. Gabled roofs provide room for lofted spaces to expand living spaces beyond each cabin's own modest footprint.
Both the stark exterior and warm interiors of the cabins are covered in locally-sourced untreated wood that will age over time to blend in with the surroundings. The resulting aesthetic is one of calm connectedness, perfectly in balance with the surrounding landscape.