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Elle Decor Italia

Seaside chalet: the coastal version of the traditional mountain cabin comes from the North

Lund + Slaatto Architects design a wood and glass shelter wholly surrounded by nature

© Marte Garmann

Cabin Østfold, a seaside chalet on the coast of Norway by Lund + Slaatto Architects

Along the Oslofjord archipelago, located to the southeast of Norway, there is a stunning seaside chalet, a shelter surrounded by pine trees overlooking the cold sea waters from a rocky coast. Designed by local studio Lund + Slaatto Architects, this wooden cottage – only 60 sqm! – seems to connect in an entirely peculiar way with its natural setting: on one hand it perfectly blends into it, changing its shapes and colors – on the other hand, it becomes a sort of shield to isolate and safeguard the privacy of its lodgers. 

Photo credits © Marte Garman

The wooden house exterior features a slim, decidedly contemporary linear silhouette. Along the main building, there is a small annex, connected by an outdoor terrace. The angle of the pitched roof both pays homage to and updates rural architecture, adding a touch of tradition to the structure’s essential design. Moreover, this was the site of a previous old building, whose natural boundaries have been carefully maintained by Cabin Østfold, as the cottage is named. 

Photo credits © Marte Garman

The area abounds with different kinds of timber. The cabin is cladded – both externally and in its interiors – with cedar wood that somehow seals, even from a chromatic viewpoint, the cabin’s total fusion with nature, which has been achieved above all through the employment of big glass windows dematerializing the walls, trying to find a deeper, more immediate contact with the suggestive, rough coastal landscape. Through its various openings widely overlooking the scenery, the cottage is literally soaked up with natural light, a gift to fully enjoy or carefully ration according to one’s mood. The timber cladding functions as a thin, elegant frame – an ethereal screen, which intensifies the feeling of being in a safe, warm nest. 

Photo credits © Marte Garman

The chalet interiors highlight the building’s natural vocation. Spaces have been arranged on more than one level, as if imitating the rough, varied coastal outline on a smaller scale. The living area features a welcoming open space with casual style furnishings in a lively color palette, ranging from blue to orange against a pure white background, almost as if to underline the pleasant, relaxing spirit of the place. 

Photo credits © Marte Garman

A further level has been carved above the communal area, right under the roof, in a mutual interplay of voids and heights that helps broaden the space, lending the place a plastic, intriguing dynamism. A suspended mezzanine marked by the pointed shape of the roof, houses the cabin’s most intimate, private nook while the master bedroom is located in the dependence, separated from the rest of the house. 

Photo credits © Marte Garman

Overall, the cabin appears as a light building leaving an impalpable track on the ground, like a glass seashell with wooden veining, extremely sensitive to its natural surroundings that, in turn, seem to further mold and almost absorb it. At the same time, it provides a beautiful specimen of intrinsically contemporary architecture designed to optimize space, enhance views and create a comfortable, protected dimension. 



Uno chalet sulle Alpi svizzere

by Elisa Zagaria / 6 December 2017


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