Project Name: Movikheien Cabins
Architects: Space Group
Location: Hagefjorden, Norway

Aim of the project: To not include car access, elevated cabins, exhibit minimal physical encroachment on the natural terrain. A perfect holiday destination for domestic travellers.

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Overview of the cabins laying on the terrain.

Spacegroup, an Oslo-based architecture firm, has envisioned a sustainable cabin construction named Movikheien Cabins along the coast of Norway situated in Hagefjorden. The project consists of 16 wooden retreat structures which are constructed with minimal intervention on the natural terrain(rugged forest) in which it is located. These sustainable structures are situated on a stilted base to minimize the disturbance to the existing terrain. Each structure can be accessed by a network of walking trails. This project responds to the pandemic situation of COVID-19 as it provides the local Norwegians with an attractive, approachable destination and an Espace when travelling is limited. This design makes it an approachable and attractive destination for all Norwegians.

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62 sq.m. of cabin standing on stilts reducing the carbon

The structure did not require heavy machinery for its construction. Each unit has a simple cube form and is small in their size, 62 sq.m., and the components of the structure can be easily transported through the site and put together in-situ. The construction is wooden and features birch plywood -wrapped ceilings and walls, solid pine floors and terraces giving expansive overlooking views in the fields. Hence the minimalist sustainable cabins are environmentally friendly and socially inclusive having no carbon footprint.

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Interior of the living area and the balcony. Wooden finishes and detailing used in the interior. Image

The interiors of the cabin are quite modern and finished in a wooden look. The balcony connects the inner and the outer space, i.e. with nature. The disturbing and non-sustainable pattern of oversized cabins with large footprints, which recklessly cut through the forest, manipulating the terrain, is broken by the interesting and innovative zoning plan for this project. This new development will boast designs which are environmentally friendly and socially inclusive. Before the introduction to this concept, cabins and campground developments meant manipulating and destroying the natural terrain. The act of cutting down large forest areas to build oversized structures having large carbon footprints. The Movikheien Cabins are opposite and break this monotony, brings in sustainable design solution with small units, 100% wooden construction and no carbon footprints, eco-friendly designs.

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The structure lays on the stilts. The sloping topography of the site gives beautiful natural views. Image

As roads require major intervention in the natural terrain and constructing roads would hence create high destruction and hindrance to the plots natural quality which is hilly, and dense,  the major principle that was followed during the planning phase of the project was that no car would be provided access on the site. Instead, the access will be provided to the site through a hiking trail which is designed on the location by walking with architects, client, an arborist and a rock climber. All the components which are required for the construction of the building are of feasible dimensions that can be easily transported and handled without machinery.

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Ground-floor plan
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First-floor plan Image Image

All the cabins are designed in a way that they have 2 floors, ground and first floor, connected vertically by a wooden staircase running from the inside. The terrace is not accessible. The ground floor consists of a common linear space having kitchen, living and dining, which is attached with the long balcony giving beautiful views to the outside. A bedroom and a bathroom are present on the other side, both of them( common and private areas) are separated by a corridor. On taking a flight of stairs, on the first floor, there is a fully private space of bedroom and toilet along with a huge semi-open lodge(balcony). The roof is purely made out of steel rods and wooden frame, on which lies plant creepers, above the balcony, settling with the site background. The entire structure looks merging with the site layout. In Norway, it is typical that cabin neighbourhoods are partitioned completely into sellable properties which are based on different value propositions. On this site, the cabins stand on stilts and each of the units is owing only to their projected footprints on the terrain along with sharing the landscape that connects them. This provides a basis for making social capital while the natural assets of the region are getting protected. These retreat cabins are perfect holiday getaway and a great destination to explore for the Norwegians.

Content source- Designboom


Diksha is an architecture graduate from Nirma University, 2020. Being an avid traveler, she has always tried to connect the city's culture with architecture. She is a keen observer, finds inspiration from unexplored places and believes that true essence of architecture lies in its execution (form generation) and user experience.