In fact, you could say we’re slightly Scandi obsessed. Which is probably also why we wanted to show off these Scandinavian cabins, all illustrating different aspects of wonderful Nordic architectural design. The architects have created these hideouts with a unique design ethos, and each makes a fantastic contrast to a typical rustic winter cabin.
But despite their modern forms, they retain the same wonderful romance that characterises the Scandinavian cabin. Remote, wild and simple, each getaway conjures up images of roaring wood fires and traditional ways of life, from afternoon fika to evening sauna.
The cabins below range from outlandishly conceptual treehouses to sustainable ski lodges, powered by natural solar energy. They are all highly original – and some are even available to rent, which means that you can go and visit them yourself.
Ski cabin, Norway
First up is this striking angular cabin, which is partially sunk in the snow. It is located close to the famous ski town and resort of Lillehammer. The geometric construction creates an optical illusion that gives a magical edge to this remote outpost hidden in the forest.
The slanted roof forms create a lot of internal space within the cabin and can also be used for sledging and skiing. The total footprint is only 55 square metres but includes all the essentials – including a small sauna plus a ski prep room within its confines. The cabin runs entirely on solar power and is heated with the help of a wood burner.
Treehouse huts, Norway
In stark contrast to the partially sunken ski lodge, these traditional wooden treehouses in Norway’s Brumunddal Forest allow visitors to sleep high up in the trees, which makes them a great place to spot the occasional bear or elk wandering past below. There are a number of treehouse hut options on this micro campsite, many of which are named after local tree species, such as the Pine Hut, the Spruce Hut, the Larch Hut and the Birch Hut. But our favourite is the View Nest, built around a single tree. It consists of one floor and a large roof terrace – but the entire cabin revolves, so guests can manually turn the hut around to follow the sun, escape the prevailing wind or enjoy a change of view. Genius. It’s a stunning year-round location in all seasons – and they’re available to rent. Find out more at tretopphytter.no
Four-cornered villa, Finland
How about this minimalist cabin near Lake Vaskievsi, in a remote part of Finland? It was designed by its architects to have the minimum impact on nature. The primary concept was to create a sustainable home, in contrast to many Finnish holiday homes, which are often heated all year round to prevent the water pipes from freezing. In contrast, this building has no running water at all – but it is well insulated and heated, and all its electricity is provided by the sun.
The cross-like shape of the cabin offers four different views, including a lake and a forest. The position of each room has been cleverly chosen to suit the time of day. So, you get the morning light at the breakfast table, at midday in the dining room and in the evening in the sitting room. There is never any direct light in the bedroom, which means there is no need for curtains.
Double doors to the terrace are designed to help indoor/outdoor spaces flow seamlessly, giving the guests the option of a borderless home. The exterior is all black to contrast the interior, which is light and airy. The cabin’s dark exterior also means that it effectively disappears when viewed from across the lake.
Treehotels of Lapland, Sweden
For a more luxurious, design-conscious treehouse experience, there are the eco Treehotels in Swedish Lapland, where visitors can stay in a range of unique and distinctive spaces that include The Nest, Mirrorcube, The UFO and 7th Room. Each cabin is perched high up in the boreal forest canopy, just 40 miles from the Arctic Circle. At the right time of year, this makes them a superb place to catch the famous Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
Each of the Treehotels has been designed by a different architect. The Mirrorcube is particularly spectacular – it is surrounded by mirrored walls that both reflect and blend in with the surrounding forest. To the human eye, it disappears and reappears as the sun moves from behind the clouds.
Then there’s the Bird’s Nest, whose exterior is camouflaged with branches foraged from the forest, creating a hidden cocoon. Small porthole windows allow in natural light, and the space is accessed via a ladder, which is operated by a remote control. It can be withdrawn completely once guests are inside, so that from below only the branches of the nest’s base are visible.
These are incredible spaces and well worth checking out, especially if you want to experience the majestic natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Find out more at treehotel.se
And if that selection of epic hideaways has given you an urge to pack a bag and go travelling, then have a look at our collections of awesome bags and travel accessories.
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