Snøhetta: four cottages by the Norwegian Fjord

Architecture studio Snøhetta, together with entrepreneur Tom Bjarte Norland and Danish brand Vipp, has opened a new resort near the Lysefjord on the west coast of Norway. The Bolder project includes four cottages, which, according to the authors’ plan, should completely erase the boundaries between external and internal space.

The project, launched in 2020, appeared thanks to the team’s desire to offer visitors an authentic experience in which nature plays a major role. Four cottages Stylten, Myra, Stjerna, and Eldhuset are located on the edge of the Lysefjord and gracefully inscribed in the landscape so that nothing disturbs the harmony of the surrounding landscape. The houses are installed on concrete supports and have glass facades so that guests can admire the natural surroundings from any part of the space.

“In the Bolder project, we sought to preserve nature with the lowest possible impact on the environment. The cottages are raised off the ground to create a feeling of weightlessness on the edge of the mountain slopes descending to the blue fjord. Our goal was to create an all-encompassing experience – visitors can return to a cozy warm wooden cottage with panoramic views after exploring the fjord,” says Snøhetta architect Frank Denis Foray.

The cottages are surrounded by pine trees and boulders formed thousands of years ago. To convey the serenity of nature inside, the team designed the interiors in a minimalist style and chose furniture made of natural materials in earthen shades. Thoughtfulness is at the heart of the project. On the second floor there is a kitchen and dining area designed by Vipp, and below is a bedroom with a built-in bed and a bathroom. Wood, marble, and leather formed the basis of the palette, and the concrete floor helped add a touch to the variety of textures.

To find parallels with the natural environment, where granite and pine predominate, Snøhetta chose wood and concrete as the main materials. The architects relied on the maximum use of local resources: the trees that had to be cut down during construction were later used in the project, and local granite was used to make concrete. The cottages are built of red cedar, which eventually acquires a gray tint, allowing the houses to merge with the rocky landscape. The oak used in the interior decoration is treated differently for each of them. The asymmetrically arranged platforms on which the houses are installed seem to be tilted towards the fjord, which only enhances the feeling of weightlessness.

With the exception of electricity, the facility is completely autonomous. The resort uses spring water, which is further purified by installations under the parking lot. Three cottages are already ready and open for booking from February 1. The last one, Eldhuset, will start receiving guests in the spring. As part of the project, new facilities will appear on the territory of the complex over the next few years, including a lounge and a restaurant with dishes made from local products.

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