Introducing the Newest (and Most Peculiar) Idea in Log House Architecture

A hunting lodge, in its most simplest of terms, is a lodge for hunters. In earlier times, hunting lodges served primarily as accommodation for a ruler and his entourage while hunting in that particular area. William Adam, the Duke of Hamilton, had a hunting lodge built in 1743, and it is a great example of the grandiose hunting lodges of days gone by. Today, a hunting lodge is typically a rough structure (sometimes a very simple log cabin) hastily built which serves as a simple shelter for hunters. The Hunting Lodge by Snohetta, Norway is altogether different.

Snøhetta arkitektur-landskap is a company that first began as a collaborative architectural and landscape workshop. Remaining true to its trans-disciplinary thinking, today Snøhetta has grown into an internationally renowned practice of not only architecture and landscape architecture, but also of interior architecture and brand design. There are two main studios, located in Oslo, Norway and New York, USA, and the company employs 130 professionals. Snøhetta is currently involved in more than 50 projects throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas and working globally gives each designer invaluable cultural and economic insights which helps to create the foundation of Snøhetta’s continuously evolving knowledge base.

Built in Etne, a municipality in Hordaland, Norway, is Bjellandsbu – Åkrafjorden, the hunting lodge by Snøhetta. It was completed for Osvald M. Bjelland in 2012 and is situated alone beside a lake in the untouched mountain areas close to Åkrafjorden in the western part of Norway. Snøhetta claim that the integration of this hunting lodge, or hut, into the landscape was an important part of the overall concept. The terrain of grass, heather and rocks helped to dictate the hut’s shape, orientation and materials. But the main challenge for Snøhetta was designing the hut to a maximum of 35m2 (under 400 square feet) with the facilities for 21 guests. In order to do this, Snøhetta became inspired by and utilized old traditions, such as a central fireplace and beds along the walls that are utilized for social, eating and sleeping. Although traditional designs were utilized, this structure is really a meeting of modern expression and traditional Norwegian mountain cabins.

This tiny 376 square foot hunting lodge, or stone and log cabin, is very much a part of the tiny house movement, which is a return of houses to less than 400 square meters. The movement itself is both social and architectural and advocates living simply in tiny homes/spaces. There are architects in Europe, along with Snøhetta, designing and building tiny spaces. In Britain, Abito creates intelligent living spaces in apartments of 353 square feet. In Germany, Richard Horton developed a high end small (76 square foot) cube, designed for 1-2 persons with functional spaces for cooking, hygiene, working and sleeping. And in Russia and Germany architect Maxim Kurennoy developed a 269 square foot model designed for a family with up to two children complete with a bath, kitchen, sleeping nook and living area.

While this hunting lodge by Snøhetta isn’t your typical log cabin, or even your typical hunting lodge, it is beautiful and beautifully simple in its design and construction. The perfect little log cabin get-away, even for those who don’t wish to hunt.

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