In the idyllic Norwegian landscape of Kvitfjell, the Skigard Hytte by Mork-Ulnes Architects presents a breathtaking dialogue between architecture and nature. Elevated above the ground on a grid of 45 wooden columns, this 1,500-square-foot cabin offers a sanctuary that not only frames picturesque views but also respects the native ecology of the area. Completed in 2019, the Skigard Hytte serves as a mountain retreat where traditional and modern design elements combine in harmony.
Skigard Hytte Technical Information
- Architects1-2: Mork-Ulnes Architects
- Location: Kvitfjell, Norway
- Topics: Cabins
- Area: 1,500 ft2
- Completion Year: 2019
- Photographs: © Bruce Damonte, © Ivar Kvaal
The columns lift the cabin 1.5m above the ground, allowing native grasses that sheep and cows graze on to grow below.– Mork-Ulnes Architects
Skigard Hytte Photographs
The Skigard Hytte: Ecological and Cultural Symbiosis
The 45 wooden columns that lift the cabin 1.5 meters above the ground are clad in ‘skigard,’ a traditional Norwegian fencing material. These long, narrow, quarter-cut tree logs are often placed diagonally, a design choice that resonates with the farming heritage of the region. The elevated design allows native grasses to grow below, facilitating the natural grazing of sheep and cows, and thereby ensuring minimal disruption to the local ecology.
Further echoing the landscape, the roof of the Skigard Hytte is overgrown with the same native grasses found at ground level. This green roofing technique not only provides excellent insulation but also blends the structure seamlessly into the centuries-old architectural tapestry of Norway.
The entrance of the cabin is through a series of wide wooden steps leading to a veranda that masterfully frames the view of a valley and river below. Internally, the cabin is divided into four distinct spaces, each under a frustrum ceiling capped with a skylight. These spaces are intimate yet open, both visually and physically, to the stunning landscape below and the small grove of trees the cabin nestles in.
The design pays homage to traditional Norwegian architecture while incorporating modern building techniques. From the locally sourced wood to the green roofing methods, the Skigard Hytte is more than just a building—it’s an ecological statement of intent.
Skigard Hytte is a masterful creation by Mork-Ulnes Architects, capturing the serenity and natural beauty of the Kvitfjell region in Norway. Its design elements, from the use of traditional skigard cladding to its symbiotic relationship with the landscape, set a benchmark for mountain retreats that aspire to be both stunning and sustainable.
Skigard Hytte Image Gallery
About Mork-Ulnes Architects
Mork-Ulnes Architects is an internationally recognized architecture firm with offices in San Francisco, California, and Oslo, Norway. Founded by Casper Mork-Ulnes, the firm combines Scandinavian pragmatism with California’s innovative spirit to create sustainable, functional, and aesthetically appealing designs.
Notes & Additional Credits
- Project Team: Phi Van Phan, Casper Mork Ulnes, Lexie Mork Ulnes, Inez Tazi, Kristina Line, Auste Cijunelyte
- Collaborators: Hafjell Bygg, Bygg Konsulentene Øst, Strønes Snekkerverksted