The Efjord Cabin is a Glass Masterpiece

Norway is lucky to have some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. It is a landscape of extremes, where snow-capped peaks plunge into icy fjords, and quaint fishing villages bask under the ethereal glow of the Aurora Borealis. Because of the almost never-ending scenic vistas, the Norway countryside is a fitting setting for many unique architectural endeavors, of which there are no shortages.

(Header photo: Steve King)

 

Photo: Steve King

 

The Glass Efjord Cabin

The glass cabin, which is located in Northern Norway, is the private wilderness retreat of Frode Danielsen and Tone Beathe Øvrevoll (originally sweethearts during the conception of this project and now happily married). Working with award-winning architect Snorre Stinessen, the two conceived a home that would be a welcoming place, one that celebrates and complements the mountain and fjord views of the surrounding landscape. The culmination of their collaboration, the Efjord cabin, is comprised of two main volumes. The larger space is divided into two floors, with sleeping areas and a sauna while the second, smaller volume, functions as an open-plan living area with dining area and entertaining space. Huge floor to ceiling windows provide expansive views in all directions.

 

Photo: Steve King

 

Local Challenges

Due to its remote location on Hallvardøy Island and also because there is a lack of prior development there, getting approval for the Efjord Cabin on was no small task for Frode and Tone. The couple worked closely with the Ballangen municipality to create a zoning plan for the home site. They chose a flat building area that required minimal site disturbance to lay the concrete foundation for their project. 

 

Photo: Eugeni Pons

 

They oriented their dwelling to take advantage of passive solar heating and utilized triple-glazed windows to trap as much heat as possible, reducing their need for supplemental heat sources. The building was also located between two large stone outcroppings which informed the overall design.

 

“The shape of the building is both a dialogue with the close natural formations, but also with the larger landscape. Its functional aspects create privacy and indoor/outdoor connections to different zones around the building,” said architect Snorre Stinessen.

 

Materials and Details

Utilizing as many local materials as possible in the construction of the Efjord Cabin was a priority for the owners. They sourced local Core Pine and Birch veneers which were combined with glass, steel, and tile to create a warm and inviting home that is in harmony with its surroundings.

 

Photo: Steve King

 

 

Left photo: Eugeni Pons   |   Right photo: Courtesy Dwell

 

Photo: Eugeni Pons


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Matthew Swartz is originally from Connecticut and currently lives in Denver, Colorado where he passionately pursues rock climbing, trail running, and skiing. Matt’s love of travel has inspired him to through-hike the JMT and part of the PCT, bike across the United States, and explore the West coast of South America from Ecuador to Patagonia. Matt and his partner Amanda have also travelled across much of the Western US in their 1964 Clark Cortez RV, which they lived in, on the road for the better part of three years. Matt has worked for the USFS as an Interpretive Ranger and Wildland Firefighter and Matt's photography and writing has been published in Rova Magazine, the Leatherman blog, 'Hit The Road' by Gestalten Publishing, and Forbes.