Nestled within the rolling slopes near the village of Geilo, a popular skiing destination in Norway’s Hallingdal valley, is Split View Mountain Lodge. Designed by Oslo-based firm Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter (RRA), the timber-clad holiday home, created for a family of four with anticipation of a new addition to their brood, makes the most of natural materials while respecting its pristine surroundings.
Working in an area rich with untouched wilderness, it was important for the architects to respect and protect the natural environment as much as possible. To wit, all construction and manufacturing work was carried out offsite, with just the finished components assembled onsite.
Locally-sourced Norwegian pine - a timber so rich in oils and minerals that treatment is unnecessary - was the material of choice both externally and internally. 'Quality of wood is far too often hidden behind paints and oils,' says RAA director Reiulf Ramstad, who already works extensively with untreated timber.
Inside, the floor plan spans different levels, twisting to follow the contours of the mountain site. Parts of the structure features built-in nooks and crannies dressed with soft cushions and pillows, offering places for quiet respite within the undisturbed Norwegian landscape.
The bedrooms and living areas are all contained within the main structure of the house, while a small semi-detached annex containing one bedroom and a bathroom - accessed via a wooden walkway - is used for visiting family and friends. The home features dramatic pitched ceilings throughout and virtually knot-free timber joinery.
The architects wanted the clients to benefit as much as possible from the area's picturesque panoramas. The result? A living area split into two parts that both look out towards the valley, an inspired gesture which gives the house its name.