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Norwegian Hiking Lodge Rethinks the Traditional Mountain Retreat

The Tungestølen Tourist Cabin is a far cry from the dark and dingy lodges of old

Norwegian Hiking Lodge Rethinks the Traditional Mountain Retreat

Author

Ellen Eberhardt

Photographer

Jan M. Lillebà + Ketil Jacobsen

Pennsylvania raised and Brooklyn-based, Ellen is a designer, outdoorist, and sometimes dancer.

Perched on a hill among the remote natural beauty of southern Norway sits one of the more exciting recent projects by international architecture studio Snøhetta—a small campus of hiker accommodations commissioned by the local branch of the Norwegian National Trekking Association.

Built to replace the much-beloved original lodging destroyed by a surprise storm on Christmas Day 2011, the new Tungestølen Tourist Cabins blend in as much as they stand out-with structures designed to combat the Scandinavian elements and a material palette driven by their surroundings.

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Overlooking the Jostedalen glacier, the campus features nine new buildings, including a main cabin for gathering and dining, a 30-bed bunkhouse, a singular 4-bed unit (more of these are on the way), and a smattering of outhouses.

The buildings’ exterior walls come to various “beaks," protecting from the full force of powerful wind gusts with striking pentagonal and oblique shapes. Designed to have little impact on their surroundings both visually and environmentally, each structure is made of glulam frames, cross-laminated timber walls, and clad in pine, which will continue to weather in time.

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The exterior angles create vaulted ceilings and cozy corners inside the cabins, punctured by a variety of window sizes and shapes overlooking the valley. A minimalist combination of woolen textiles, memorabilia from the original Tungestølen Cabin, and a large central fireplace in the main cabin keep things modern, comfortable, and homey.

Not a bad way to après hike, post pandemic.

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Published 01-12-2021

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