Snøhetta Designs The Ultimate Vacation Cabin

By Diana Budds

To Anne Cecilie Haug, a senior architect and project manager at Snøhetta, an ideal vacation cabin is about everything except the cabin itself.

“It should let you experience your surroundings with shifting seasons and daylight,” she tells Co.Design by email. “The cabin is a place you spend time with the people you care about the most.”

[Photo: Snøhetta]

It comes at no surprise, then, that when Snøhetta–the architecture firm behind Times Square’s pedestrian-friendly overhaul, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s expansion, and a forthcoming renovation of the French Laundry–designed a cabin for the Norwegian prefab builder Rindalshytter, its connection to the landscape was paramount. One hitch: the architects had no idea where the people who buy the cabin will site the building. It had to work for seaside environments, the forest, the mountains, and more. It was a challenge Haug welcomed.

[Photo: Snøhetta]

“We liked the idea of showing that it is possible to make a prefab cabin that considers and connects to its surroundings, despite the surroundings being unknown,” she tells Co.Design. “We would like the owners to consider a gentle approach to the terrain when constructing the cabin.”

The 1,430-square-foot, single-story structure is composed of three levels so that it can easily sit on sloped sites, has a pitched roof that forms a porch on one side, and features large windows that let people inside see their surroundings. There’s a common area kitted out with a built-in sofa bench and fireplace, a full kitchen, and three bedrooms. The living room is designed to open to an outdoor terrace that is intended to be customized to the site. “The cabin wants to blend in rather than stick out,” Haug says.

The kit itself (construction and land not included) is about $156,100 and assembly time is about four months. Rindalshytter expects to ship the kits by the end of 2017. See the cabin in the slide show above.

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