Reiulf Ramstad Architects' cluster of micro cabins is a compelling exercise in rural architecture
Sitting in an idyllic location near the city of Sandefjord, along Norway's southeastern coastline, is this secluded cluster of micro cabins. They constitute the holiday home of a multigenerational family, designed by Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects.
The brief from the client was for a design that could not only be used as a single vacation house for the whole family; the layout should also allow for independent living when needed. 'This kind of structure for cabins is quite usual in Norway,' says Reiulf Ramstad architect Anders Tjønneland.
Their solution was to design a set of three distinct sleeping and living structures, two of which are joined internally, creating a shared space. The third one is completely separate with its own external entrance. To bind all of the structures together, an elevated timber deck extends from the larger middle structure, acting as the focal point of the central outdoor courtyard.
Drawing on natural materials - namely, Norwegian pine, a recurrent feature in Reiulf Ramstad's designs - the set of structures integrate with their surroundings, allowing for the clients to immerse themselves in nature. They also benefit from their own microclimate. Tjønneland explains, 'The built structure, together with the cliff behind, forms an external room, which is then warmed from the sun's energy that is stored in the cliff during the day.' Internally, the house features steel frames with invisible details, hidden inside the flushed finished timber-clad walls.
Benefiting from the site's southwesterly orientation, the cabins' glazed sides allow natural light to infiltrate the interior, also granting the family uninterrupted views over towards the Herfellbukta Bay. In an area known for its recreational activities (bathing, fishing and trekking are common activities) the Micro Cluster Cabins provide a peaceful, tailor-made haven for their guests.