Snøhetta perches Bolder Star Lodges on cliff edge overlooking Norwegian fjord

Exterior of Bolder Star Lodges in Norway by Snøhetta and Vipp

Norwegian studio Snøhetta has dotted a quartet of wooden cabins on a cliff edge with “a front-row view” of Lysefjorden in Norway and pared-back interiors designed by the homeware brand Vipp.

Named Bolder Star Lodges, the project, commissioned by local developer Tom Bjarte Norland, is designed as a unique retreat that immerses hikers in the nature surrounding the fjord.

Cabins overlooking Lysefjorden
Snøhetta has created the Bolder Star Lodges overlooking Lysefjorden

Bolder Star Lodges comprises four cabins, named Stylten, Myra, Stjerna and Eldhuseteach, which were each designed to blend in with the natural setting across which they are scattered.

Snøhetta elevated each cabin on large concrete pillars to reduce their impact on the site, and lined them with large panes of glass that “bring the outdoors inside”.

Exterior of cabin at Bolder Star Lodges in Norway
The cabins are positioned on a cliff edge

“Initially, [Norland’s] plan was to build a series of smaller hermit huts, but he realised that this natural plot deserved something better, something daring,” Vipp CEO Kasper Egelund told Dezeen.

“We wanted to create something that would harmonise with the surrounding nature, playing on the natural shapes in the area and creating a sensation that the cabins are floating in the air, hanging over the edge of the mountain above the fjord,” added Snøhetta project lead Frank Denis Foray.

Aerial view of wooden cabin by Snøhetta
Their designs reference the surrounding landscape

The Bolder Star Lodges, which range in size from 38 to 60 square metres, are constructed from a combination of wood and concrete that was cast with aggregate from the landscape.

Their unique, asymmetric forms were designed from the inside out to give each one a unique interior and view of the landscape.

Aerial view of wooden cabin by Snøhetta
They are named after their skylights designed for stargazing

Snøhetta’s chosen material palette was intended to reflect the natural surroundings, which are dominated by granite boulders and pine trees.

The studio specified untreated red cedar for the cabin’s structure and cladding so that it greys with time, blending in with the rocky terrain. This structure was prefabricated and then transported and placed on the concrete pillars by helicopter to minimise disruption.

Exterior of Bolder Star Lodges in Norway
They have wooden structures and cladding

Inside, the cabins contain a built-in bed and bathroom, and an upper level with a kitchen and dining area fitted out by Vipp.

Their floor plans are designed to be as open as possible, maximising natural light and views from the floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows.

Wooden cabin in rural Norwegian landscape
They are designed to blend in with nature. Photo is by Elisabeth Heier

Vipp’s interior design aims to retain focus on these outward views, and with the slight elevation above ground, they are intended to make visitors feel as though they are floating.

Each one is also sheltered by an asymmetric roof punctured by a skylight. Designed for looking up at the stars at night, this feature influenced the name of the project.

Exterior of two Bolder Star Lodges in Norway by Snøhetta and Vipp
The wood will grey over time. Photo is by Elisabeth Heier

“The site is breathtaking with unobstructed views over the fjord and mountains,” said Egelund. “The architecture respects the incredible site in its form and materiality, and so the interior styling follows the same path.”

“When stepping inside, guests are left with the illusion of floating in the air on the edge of the cliff with unobstructed views over the fjord and mountains filled with Bonsai-like pine trees and boulders left by the glaciers when the ice age came to an end thousands of years ago,” added Foray.

Hotel lodge by Snøhetta in Norway
Large windows frame views of the fjord. Photo is by Elisabeth Heier

To retain focus on the outward views, Vipp opted for a “minimalistic design ethos” and a largely natural material palette.

This includes wood, marble, and leather, which complement the concrete flooring.

To ensure a unique identity for the lodges, each interior has different-coloured wood flooring and panelling.

A series of weathering-steel bridges positioned over the landscape complete Bolder Star Lodges. These are dotted with lights to help visitors find their way after sunset without dominating views of the landscape.

Bedroom with view over Lysefjorden
The interiors retain focus on the outside. Photo is by Elisabeth Heier

While electricity for the cabins is provided from the grid, the rest of the project is self-sufficient, with water sourced from a treatment plant under the parking lot.

Any trees that had to be removed for the lodges were set aside for use in future construction, while any granite excavated from the site will be repurposed as aggregate.

Dining room by Vipp with view over Lysefjorden
The lodges are designed to feel like they are floating. Photo is by Elisabeth Heier

The Bolder Star Lodges follow the completion of an earlier scheme designed for Norland by architecture studio Norgeshus, which were named the Bolder Sky Lodges.

Three out of the four cabins by Snøhetta are now open to guests, with the fourth due to open in spring. Two additional structures are also expected to be built at the site over the next few years, which will contain a lounge and a restaurant.

Kitchen of Bolder Star Lodges by Vipp
Vipp designed the interiors. Photo is by Elisabeth Heier

Elsewhere, architecture and design studio Snøhetta has recently completed an urban farm in Hong Kong and the Esbjerg Maritime Center in Denmark in collaboration with WERK Arkitekter.

Danish brand Vipp recently unveiled a one-room hotel designed in a factory that once made school pencils, as well as a loft renovation in New York that doubles as its showroom.

The photography is by Elin Engelsvoll unless stated otherwise. The video is courtesy of Bitmap. 

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