Dynamic Variation:
Offers
x

There was not an exact match for the language you toggled to. You have been redirected to the nearest matching page within this section.

Choose Language
Toggling to another language will take you to the matching page or nearest matching page within that selection.
Search & Book Sponsored Links
Dynamic Variation:
Search
or search all of Norway
The cabins of Skåpet in Ryfylke at dusk
Skåpet – EN.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Architecture in the Norwegian mountains

muteplay/pauseplay/pause
Campaign
Course
Event
Partner
Media
Meetings
Travel Trade

Gone are traditional features like log walls and tiny windows. It is increasingly common to encounter mountain lodges and cabins that have new and exciting designs.

In 2016, the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) opened an architecturally different self-service cabin. The small group of ultra-modern cabins called Skåpet serves as the gateway to the trail network in Frafjordheiene on the south side of Lysefjorden.

“The mountains here are cool. I saw a little frog on the way up here. It made me yell so loud that my mom thought I saw a snake”, says nine-year-old Rikke Benaglia Petersen with a chuckle.

Dynamic Variation:

“We spent about an hour and a half coming up here. We’ve gone on a lot of hikes in the mountains and we think it’s fun”, says Rebecca.

Skåpet, Frafjordheiene
Skåpet, Frafjordheiene.
Photo: Thomas Rasmus Skaug / Visitnorway.com

Modern times

Across the country, DNT own, operate and uphold more than 550 lodges and cabins. The overnight guests are from all over the world. The cabins have long been associated with traditional, solid timber construction with small-paned windows and grass on the roof, but Skåpet represents a new generation of cabins with modern architectural designs featuring large windows and zinc clad walls.

In addition to the main cabin that has a common room, a kitchen, and sleeping quarters for twelve people, you’ll find a sauna with an outdoor shower, outhouses with toilets, and six smaller cabins for sleeping. Each of them has enough space for you (and four other guests) to have some peace and privacy and to comfortably enjoy the mountains through the large floor-to-ceiling windows.

Architectural explosion

It started with the reconstruction of Turtagrø Hotel in Luster in 2002, and with the building of the new lodge Preikestolen fjellstue in 2008 came a new way of thinking about the construction of lodges and cabins, according to the manager and chief of natural resource management at the DNT, Anne Mari Aamelfot Hjelle.

“Nationwide, we have observed that the architecture has had significance for both the attention garnered and the number of visits the cabins receive”, she says.

The DNT is behind many of the cabin projects, and there are multiple forces pulling together which has caused the number of new, modern architect designed cabins to explode. The initiatives involving innovative thinking come from those who own and operate the cabins, and all this increased attention has clearly helped to inspire others. At the same time, “Norway has many good architects who know the time is right”, Hjelle says.

Turtagrø Hotel
Turtagrø Hotel.
Photo: Merete Habberstad / Den Norske Turistforening

Environment and sustainability

The DNT aims to get more people out on hikes whilst also taking care of nature. Therefore, when new building projects occur in Norwegian nature today, careful consideration of the environment, energy solutions and choice of materials, along with functionality, all play a key role.

“These are structures that are closely linked to nature, and which take into account the environment in which they are placed”, says Aamelfot Hjelle.

It doesn’t go unnoticed when cabins with a new twist pop up, and this has sparked debate about tampering with the romantic image many people have of traditional Norwegian mountains. And that’s good, in Hjelle’s opinion. She stresses, however, that consideration of the local population and sustainable tourism weighs heavily, and that the Tourist Board would never initiate construction projects that are unwanted locally.

Many of the new cabins have already become icons, and the Rabothytta cabin on the north side of the Okstindbreen glacier in Hemnes in Helgeland is a good example. DNT’s cabin number 500 has become a place many now make the journey to see.

Dynamic Variation:
Rabothytta, Helgeland
Rabothytta, Helgeland.
Photo: Svein Arne Brygfjeld / www.visithelgeland.com/Hemnes.jpg

More on the way

More architect designed cabins are already on the way. When the Tungestølen lodge is rebuilt after being ravaged by a hurricane in 2011, it will be in a design created at the architectural firm Snøhetta.

“Our foremost desire is that our architecture will help people get out and enjoy the outdoors. The new cabins can also play a part in creating an extra dimension – something you have never seen before”, says senior architect Anne Cecilie Haug at Snøhetta. “Nature is the most important. The architecture should form the basis and be an exciting element in nature.”

It is also essential to convey that the cabins are there to provide shelter and that guests can feel safe, warm and protected from the often harsh Norwegian climate. At the same time, the surroundings must not be shut out, and Tungestølen has, like so many of the new cabins, a large panoramic window.

But, as Haug says: “The nicest pictures of nature will always be the ones you enjoy from outside.”

Tungestølen
Tungestølen.
Photo: Snøhetta / Den Norske Turistforening

Philosophy of openness

Anne Cecilie Haug also tells us that technological developments make it even easier to build using low-impact methods in Norway’s outlying areas. In other words, it is easier to protect the environment these days, even when building far off the beaten track.

The senior architect also finds it fun to create an alternative to the traditional cabins and likes the idea that you can experience something that was made specifically for the space where they are located.

Everyone being welcome at the Trekking Association's lodges and cabins in Norway is also an important point:

“We at Snøhetta love working with the philosophy that what we create will be open to everyone and that no one is excluded, no matter who they are”, Haug says.

Modern mountain cabins
The lodge Preikestolen fjellstue is situated idyllically in the Ryfylke moorlands, overlooking the Refsvatn lake. The lodge is located at the starting… Read more
Preikestolen fjellstue
Gullhorgabu, Bergsdalen
Gullhorgabu
Located in the mountains of Bergsdalen, Gullhorgabu is built with the future in mind in terms of the environment, architecture, and smart solutions.…
Gullhorgabu
Skåpet
Skåpet
The main cabin has a common room, kitchen, and sleeping quarters for twelve people. In addition, you’ll find six smaller cabins for sleeping, a sauna…
Skåpet
Kvitlen, Kvitladalen
Kvitlen
Kvitlen is beautifully situated on a ridge above Kvitladalen Valley. From the lodge, you have panoramic views of the valley and of the tempting…
Kvitlen
Jonstølen, Ryfylkeheiene
Jonstølen
This modern and innovative self-service cabin features the best elements from over 100 years of cabin construction. It is easy to get to, and…
Jonstølen
Rabothytta, Helgeland
Rabothytta
Situated at Okstindbreen glacier at 1,200 meters. The windows can withstand a hurricane, and the panelling was retrieved from the surrounding area.
Rabothytta
Skålabu, Skåla
Skålabu
The architecture of the cabin is adapted to its special location and is an attraction in itself. With beds for a total of 20 people, it replaces…
Skålabu
Høgevarde, Norefjell
Høgevarde
Just about everything the lodge is built of can be recycled. The new Høgevardehytta no-service cabin rests upon a steel construction one meter above…
Høgevarde
Turtagrø
Turtagrø hotel
Just about everything the lodge is built of can be recycled. The new Høgevardehytta no-service cabin rests upon a steel construction one meter above…
Turtagrø hotel
Hammerfest
Day trip cabin at Storfjellet
Just about everything the lodge is built of can be recycled. The new Høgevardehytta no-service cabin rests upon a steel construction one meter above…
Day trip cabin at Storfjellet
Highlights for architecture lovers
Architect Espen Surnevik’s tips for architectural masterpieces are located in places that also offer many leisure activities.
Read more
Inaugurated in 1950, Oslo City Hall is the city's administrative body and the seat of the City Council. The building has been decorated by great… Read more
Oslo City Hall
Welcome to the home of Nobel laureate Sigrid Undset (1882–1949), one of Norway's great female writers. Her home is a short walk from downtown… Read more
Bjerkebæk - Sigrid Undset's home
New Våler church was inaugurated in May 2015 and it is the largest wooden church in Europe. This is a remarkable building, which has won a… Read more
Våler church in Hedmark
Sohlbergplassen
Sohlbergplassen viewpoint
The platform frames the view towards the lake and the rounded peaks of the Rondane massif almost exactly as they appear in Harald Sohlberg’s famous…
Sohlbergplassen viewpoint
The Aukrust Center lies in the little town of Alvdal in one of Norway's many beautiful valleys. Its a museum built to house the life work of… Read more
Aukrustsenteret
Juvet
Juvet landskapshotell
Instead of a conventional hotel with guest rooms stacked together in one large building, the idea was to distribute the rooms throughout the site in…
Juvet landskapshotell
The Norwegian Glacier Museum opened in 1991, and is an award-winning hands-on museum, situated in Fjærland at the head of the Fjærlandsfjord. The… Read more
Norwegian Glacier Museum
UNESCO Urnes Stave Church , the oldest of Norway's stave churches, is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It was built around 1130 AD, but the… Read more
Urnes Stave Church
Bryggen is one of Bergen's and Norway's main attractions. Bryggen was built after the great fire in 1702 and is included on UNESCO's World Heritage… Read more
Bryggen in Bergen
Learn about the start of the Norwegian industrial history. See the power station at the fjord, follow in the footsteps of the navvy and let the… Read more
The Norwegian Museum of Hydro Power and Industry in Tyssedal
The Norwegian Industrial Workers Museum at Vemork is a museum where you can see the unique exhibition from 2.ww. as well as the industrial revolution… Read more
Vemork
Top 10 offbeat architecture
Hans Petter Smeby, the brain behind Norway’s streetwise architecture and design magazine Nytt rom, shares his personal tips for exciting architecture off the beaten track.
Read more
The fishing village of Eggum lies on the seaward side of Vestvågøy island, alone between the ocean and the mountains. Read more
Eggum, Lofoten
The Petter Dass Museum at Alstahaug is The County of Nordland´s millennium site. The museum is dedicated to the heritage of the priest and poet Petter… Read more
Petter Dass Museum
Stokkøya Sjøsenter and The Beach Bar is situated near one of Norways finest beaches, and has both excellent food, comfortable accommodation and… Read more
Stokkøya Sjøsenter
Trollveggen Visitor Centre is located under Trollveggen , Europe's highest vertical mountain wall. The top shoots stretching nearly 1,800 feet into… Read more
Trollveggen visitor center
Is an architectural viewing pavilion overlooking Tverrfjellet mountain at Hjerkinn. The building was designed by Snøhetta architects and opened in… Read more
viewpoint SNØHETTA
Ustikten is not your average rest stop. The futuristic concrete flake in the middle of the mountains is winning awards. Read more
Utsikten, Gaularfjellet
Domkirkeodden by Mjøsa comprises over 60 antique buildings from the Hedmark villages. Permanent exhibitions are available in Storhamarlåven from the… Read more
Storhamarlåven, Domkirkeodden
At the once industry-heavy bank of the river Akerselva, one of Oslo’s most interesting new city development projects, called Vulkan, has come to… Read more
Vulkan
Museum of architecture that explores contemporary and historical themes through drawings, photographs and models. The main building, designed by… Read more
National Museum - Architecture
Karmøy Fishery Museum is located on the mid-west side of Karmøy, the museum displays the modern era of the region's fishing history, which is a… Read more
Karmøy Fishery Museum
Select
    Show Details
    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    Get inspired

    Your Recently Viewed Pages

    Back to top