This Egg-shaped Cabin Provides Shelter for Arctic Circle Travelers
Read more about the Hammerfest Cabin on Dwell.
In the mountains of Northern Norway, the unspoiled beauty of the natural landscape remains largely inaccessible to many would-be travelers due to the challenging terrain and harsh climate. This accessibility barrier prompted the Norwegian Trekking Association to develop a series of compact “daytrip” cabins to encourage exploration of the scenic region.
The Norwegian Trekking Association collaborated with SPINN Architects and Format Engineers to design the first prototype of the Hammerfest Cabin. Individual hexagonal and pentagonal panels come together to form the cabin’s oblong envelope, a unique architectural skin that mimics the rock formations that surround it.
Sticking to the basics, the tiny cabin’s interior includes bench seating, tables, and a fireplace. Natural, untreated pine makes up the interior shell, adding warmth and cohesion to the compact space. A dramatic picture window at one end of the structure allows panoramic views to take center stage and encourages restorative moments of serenity and reflection.
Throughout the cabin’s development and construction, the design team sought to respect the natural landscape and create as small an impact as possible. In addition to designing a compact footprint—the cabin is only 150 square feet—the team was mindful of utilizing sustainable building materials.
For the exterior cladding, they chose Kebony, a durable and sustainable enhanced wood product developed in Norway. Kebony sources FSC-certified wood (varying pine species from Sweden and New Zealand) and heats it with furfuryl alcohol, an agricultural byproduct. The end result is a softwood with the strength and durability of a tropical hardwood—with a much smaller carbon footprint.
An innovative experiment in public architecture, the tiny cabin widens the opportunity for access in a climate and terrain that is as challenging as it is beautiful. The cozy shelter, through its thoughtful design and practical use, is a welcome respite for adventurous travelers in this remote, but uniquely inspiring, corner of the world.