Playing with the ideas of nature and the unexpected, Norwegian architecture studio Vardehaugen has created the Vindheim Cabin, a well-hidden modern forest dwelling that was conceived as a surprise, to be discovered by passers-by while hiking.

Situated in Lillehammer and appearing semi-buried in the ground, the structure's unusual shape is influenced by the classic motif of snowbound cabins, which have only their roofs protruding through the snow. During the cold Norwegian winter, when snow engulfs the structure, the division between architecture and nature becomes blurred. This also offers a playful functional aspect – the roof becomes a man-made slope for ski jumping, toboggan runs and other snow-based activities.

The cabin was conceived as a delicate balance between the 'luxurious' and the 'primitive'. All energy for this compact 55 sq m dwelling is supplied by solar power and a wood oven. The building, which is composed of a large living room, a bedroom, a ski preparation room and a small annex with a utility room, is clad in black-stained ore pine.

The interior is lighter, fully covered in waxed poplar veneer. The uninterrupted ceiling connects all of the rooms highlighting the interior's thoughtful, smooth spatial flow.

When resting in the cabin's bedroom, a large 4m-long window creates the impression of sleeping above the treetops and underneath the stars. The green forest surroundings are also enhanced through the addition of several other openings above eye level that offer alternative views deep into the woods and the alpine landscape beyond.