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“A Place to Gaze at Nature’s Cinema”: A Hidden Lakeside Hut in Norway

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“A Place to Gaze at Nature’s Cinema”: A Hidden Lakeside Hut in Norway

July 25, 2023

The Hideout is only reachable by boat in summer and skis in winter, when the mountain lake it overlooks is frozen. And if you don’t know where to look, you’ll likely miss it. Which is exactly what the owners want.

Ole, Astrid, and Olav of Norwegian architecture studio Gartnerfuglen collaborated with Spanish architect Mariana de Delás on this magical, unassuming retreat in the Telemark region of southern Norway. They were commissioned by the owners of the farm across the lake, who for generations had fished, swum, and camped in the area in solitude. Of late, explain the architects, “due to allemannsretten, the Norwegian law of public right of access, one can no longer expect to be alone here.”

The designers were asked to create a hut on a rocky bank owned by the family where they can go to disconnect. As the architects write, “It was a desire to reunite to nature and the possibility to retreat, completely isolated from other people, that determined the inconvenient site—farthest away, behind a rock, shaded and lacking mobile and internet reception.” We’re not invited—except to take a look.

Photography courtesy of Gartnerfuglen Arkitekter and Mariana de Delás.

camouflaged behind a thicket of birch leaves, the hideout looks like a lakeside 17
Above: Camouflaged behind a thicket of birch leaves, the Hideout looks like a lakeside Hobbit house with a picture window.

The international design team originally met while working in architect Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai. “Since then, we try to join forces for projects that sit between art and architecture,” says Delás. The group worked in tandem from afar and met up in Norway for the building process.

the owners keep a rowboat on the opposite shore that they use to get to the hid 18
Above: The owners keep a rowboat on the opposite shore that they use to get to the Hideout. Rocks dug out by hand during the construction were placed in the water to “form a natural pier for docking the boat and access.” Delás applied a similar steel-framed bow window to her 12-Volt Retreat: A Transformed Shepherd’s Hut in Mallorca.
this way in—the retreat has a steel frame dutch door. 19
Above: This way in—the retreat has a steel-frame Dutch door.
  the structure has &#8\2\20;a timber skeleton and is clad with birch  20
Above:  The structure has “a timber skeleton and is clad with birch twigs to give a camouflaging effect while keeping an insulating layer of air beneath the snow—imitating and learning from nature,” the architects write. “As one enters through the ‘ear’ of the creature, one encounters a narrow entry zone that has a built-in desk with infinity views to the lake. It is a space to work, think, and gaze at nature’s cinema.”
the hut is used by its owners as place to fish, nap, and &#8\2\20;get in to 21
Above: The hut is used by its owners as place to fish, nap, and “get in touch with the primal human condition of solitude surrounded by wild nature.” The main space with two platforms—just big enough for two people to lie down—is under a tower-shaped skylight.
when the structure was complete, the architects celebrated with a viking style  22
Above: When the structure was complete, the architects celebrated with a Viking-style bonfire on the water.
the architects&#8\2\17; model for the wood framed hideout. they write:& 23
Above: The architects’ model for the wood-framed Hideout. They write:”When not in use, it sits quietly and modestly in nature as if it were one of its creatures, blending in with the forest and serving as a pitstop for thirsty birds on their way to the lake.”

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Frequently asked questions

What is the off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway?

The off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway is a small, self-sufficient cabin located by a lake in Gartnerfuglen, Norway. It is designed to provide a serene and sustainable getaway experience.

Who are the creators of the off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway?

The off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway was created by architecture studio Gartnerfuglen and its founder, Mariana de Delás. Their aim was to integrate the cabin seamlessly into its natural surroundings.

What is the concept behind the off-grid hut lakeside hideout?

The concept behind the off-grid hut lakeside hideout is to offer a remote retreat where visitors can disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with nature. It emphasizes sustainability, simplicity, and harmonious integration with the landscape.

What are the sustainable features of the off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway?

The off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway includes several sustainable features such as solar panels for energy generation, a composting toilet, rainwater collection system, and a wood-burning stove for heating.

How is the off-grid hut lakeside hideout designed to minimize its environmental impact?

The off-grid hut lakeside hideout is designed to minimize its environmental impact by using locally sourced, sustainable materials, employing energy-efficient systems, and ensuring minimal disturbance to the natural landscape during construction.

Can visitors stay overnight at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout?

Yes, visitors can stay overnight at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout. It is available for short-term rentals, providing an opportunity to experience the tranquility of the Norwegian wilderness.

Are there any amenities or services provided at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout?

The off-grid hut lakeside hideout offers basic amenities such as a comfortable sleeping area, a small kitchenette, and a bathroom with a composting toilet. However, visitors should note that it is designed as a minimalist retreat with limited luxuries.

Is there any nearby attractions or activities around the off-grid hut lakeside hideout?

The surroundings of the off-grid hut lakeside hideout in Norway offer various opportunities for outdoor activities. Visitors can engage in hiking, fishing, boating, or simply enjoy the breathtaking natural scenery.

How can one book a stay at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout?

To book a stay at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout, visit the official website of Gartnerfuglen or relevant booking platforms to check availability and make a reservation.

Are pets allowed at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout?

Pets are generally not allowed at the off-grid hut lakeside hideout, as it aims to maintain a pristine natural environment and minimize disturbances to local wildlife. It is recommended to check with the owners for any specific pet policies.

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