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Modern Tiny Mountain Cabin in Norway

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This one of a kind modern tiny mountain cabin in Norway is sure to amaze you.

I hope it’ll at least slightly amuse you because it’s definitely something you’ve probably never seen before thanks to the creative entrance into the cabin (see below).

This structure was designed and built by students and architects at Bergen School of Architecture. It was done using mostly scrap wood materials from local mills in the area. As you’ll see, this tiny cabin is modern, sleek, and minimalist. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Modern Tiny Mountain Cabin in Norway


Images © Espen Folgerø, Gunnar Sørås, Helge Skodvin, Marina Magreøy, and Stine Elise Kristoffersen

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Images © Espen Folgerø, Gunnar Sørås, Helge Skodvin, Marina Magreøy, and Stine Elise Kristoffersen


Our big thanks and hundreds of virtual high fives go out to Matti S. for sharing this with us! Thanks Matti!

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 26 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    March 17, 2015, 6:18 am

    Cahow, scratching her head….

    Okay, do you CRAWL through the opening to get inside? I mean, I know that to enter a Japanese Tea House, the doorway is lowered so that you are forced to bow in humbleness but what does ‘crawling’ ensure?
    Groveling? SMH

    • Lynnette
      March 17, 2015, 6:39 am

      Lol Cahow I’m scratching mine too lol I’ve looked at them three times now…I give up 😀

      • Cahow
        March 18, 2015, 2:51 pm

        Hi, Lynnette! Wanna good laugh?

        From various websites profiling this house, it’s alternately called:

        1) “The Sphincter of the Mountains.” and “Sphinct-abulous!”

        2) “The World’s Largest A– Hole.”, and

        3) “Butt-Hole Beauty.”

        I’ve been laughing so hard I have tears streaming down my face.

        As one sage commentor wrote, “I just callz them az I seez them.” LOL

        • Alex
          March 18, 2015, 3:25 pm

          LOL, great summary, I’m literally laughing out loud too.

        • Cahow
          March 18, 2015, 3:36 pm

          Hello, Alex!

          I’m so happy to read that you got a good chuckle out of those names, too! Sometimes the comments here can be pretty serious so I thought a bit of levity was in order.

          I must admit, now that I’ve read those names, I can’t see anything “but” the butt! LOL

        • Lynnette
          March 19, 2015, 5:10 am

          BAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! 😀

    • March 17, 2015, 6:43 am

      My thoughts (pretty much) precisely. I love new tiny house designs and this is certainly “NEW” but it does seem a wee bit impractical unless you’re a toddler … then there’s, what appears to me to be the wasted space issue. But it is amusing and easy on the eyes: Certainly worth the post. Those quirky, lovely, innovative Norwegians really do think (and live) outside of the box.

      • Ynot
        March 17, 2015, 11:12 am

        It is different, but with a view like that………………..

  • MsHarris
    March 17, 2015, 10:57 am

    Ok, so its hanging off of a cliff & I have to crawl through the front door! No thanks!

  • LoriDA
    March 17, 2015, 1:09 pm

    And I can’t figure out how the hole on the outside transitions to the inside? It looks like a tunnel that goes from one side the the other so how does one get inside via the tunnel?
    Does this design serve any purpose other than for conversation? Does it act to funnel the wind so the entire abode does not get swept off the cliff?

  • JL
    March 17, 2015, 2:31 pm

    I suspect (and this is judging from the illustration with only 2 kids) that this is the world’s most artistic children’s tree house. Perhaps the parents stay in a camper up the hill?

    I would honestly have concerns of being trapped via fire or claustrophobic with no easy exit.

    The hole could be a statement on fitness. No overweight Americans allowed!

  • Karen R
    March 17, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Okay, I have to say my first impression is that I love it. My second is: Entrance is too short and uses too much of the small amount of square footage; where are the kitchen and bath?; and, years ago, I climbed up to see an ancient stave church (well, a bus took me part of the way), and looked down at beautiful Bergen. The view is even more stunning than the architecture!

  • michael
    March 17, 2015, 7:03 pm

    the sphincter of solitude.. …

    • Christina
      March 18, 2015, 9:59 am

      LOL! Michael, my coworkers are wondering what’s so funny – thanks for the day-brightener!
      Karen R – I’m with you wondering about the kitchen & Bath. If I’m gonna go through the trouble of crawling in, I’d like to stay awhile!

  • monica
    March 17, 2015, 9:14 pm

    I need a bathroom and kitchen. The door is beyond useless. I would take that space for a kitchen or bathroom, unless one or the other is under the bed. The view is to die for though….Too bad the house is not practical.

  • Bev.
    March 17, 2015, 9:21 pm

    The owners obviously do not have height issues! This tiny house is certainly unique and beautiful. The view is tremendous as well as the setting. I too am wondering about the one side of this home and why the hole? We need more info on this one. I am Norwegian American and am stunned by this little gem!

  • Denise
    March 18, 2015, 10:04 am

    I love it – very cleverly designed entrance to keep the snow and cold out with the tunnel opening and then the interior hatch dropping one into the hut. The sleeping area above this is a wise use of space and I am assuming well insulated. And I also really love the natural wood interior. The Swedes have this thing about painting wood cold colors like white (let’s take beautiful, natural grain wood and ruin it by painting it) but the Norwegians are more apt to leave wood so it can be seen for what it is and put a nice clear finish on it just to protect it. This leaves the warmth and beauty of the wood to be seen and…felt.

    Actually, the opening just seems to drop one into another world. I am thinking of when Lucy walked into the back of the wardrobe in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and found herself in a snowy woods with a lamp post. When inside, there seems to be a sense of awayness and privacy that no one can penetrate while appreciating an amazing view, almost like you are the only one party to it. Add a small library, a few cushions, an espresso machine and one has a very cozy place.

  • Cahow
    March 18, 2015, 2:40 pm

    I’ve had a good guffaw and head scratching, courtesy of this house. So, I finally had to do a bit of research on it. Below, you’ll find two Copied & Pasted blurbs about it.

    Now, before my own words get lost in all posted copy below, these are my feelings. “Concept” is all great and wonderful and good. BUT…(you knew there was a “but” coming…) IF you MUST do “concept”, can you at least also do a “Concrete” version, too????

    Anyone familiar with the TV show, “Project Runway” knows that in some of the challenges, the designer’s are tasked with TWO distinct looks: 1) Concept Fashion, often called Haute Couture and 2) Practical Fashion designs. In other words, in the Concept Challenge, you construct an Over-The-Top, Utterly Impractical Gown that is a One-Wear-Only Frock, and in the Concrete Challenge, take design elements of the Concept and turn it into a Ready-To-Wear, Off The Racks frock.

    I am only too aware of “concept” in the field of architecture; for years I would attend late Winter Design Shows where completely impractical home designs and fixtures were “featured” for inspiration. And they ‘were inspirational’, but I also would have appreciated the designer turning their useless whimsy into a sublime USEFUL bit of decor. Witness the charming designs of the recently deceased designer, Michael Graves. (R.I.P. March 12, 2015). Here was a man, born of the Heartland, and known as being one of the Top Five architects in the world, who took his talent and marketed it to the masses to enjoy. In 1985, he designed the most famous teakettle on the planet, the Alessi, and brought concept and concrete into play in one common household device. (I own two of them, by the way.)

    HIS is the perfect, flawless marriage of taking the ordinary and making it ‘extraordinary.’ He went on to partner with Target in 2000 and brought incredible talent in design and practicality to the aforementioned teakettle, kitchen timers, pot scrubbers, dog houses and a score of other mundane products.

    In my opinion, if these design students had created this “concept house” (which I’m still not clear if it’s meant for children ONLY, or not) and then created a sustainable 24/7/365 tiny house, their message could have/would have reached a march larger audience. As it stands, this seems to be a wasted opportunity of using free student labor, teaching them “theory” by creating a house usable by 1/10th of 1% of the human population, and then sending them off to bother and flummox the rest of us with Pie In The Sky designs. Please note: I think whimsy is crucial but please, add a dash and smidge of practical to a companion design, please.

    From the websites:

    “Tubakuba (the name of the house) has been nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture-Mies van der Rohe Award 2015!

    Launched in 1987, this Prize is co-funded by the EU Culture Programme and the Fundació Mies van der Rohe. By highlighting excellent architectural works that have been constructed over the last two years, the Prize draws attention to the contribution of European professionals in the development of new ideas and technologies, as well as the cultural importance of architecture in the construction of our cities.

    Candidates for the Prize are put forward by a broad group of independent experts from all over Europe; the associations that are members of the Architects’ Council of Europe (ACE), as well as other national architects associations; and the institutions that form part of the Advisory Committee for the Prize.

    At each biennial edition, the jury selects two works: one that receives the Prize and the other the Emerging Architect Special Mention, both in recognition of their conceptual, technical and constructional qualities. The jury also selects a set of shortlisted works to be included in the catalogue publication and travelling exhibition.

    The Prize is endowed with 60,000 €, while the Special Mention consists of a cash prize of 20,000 €. The winners are also awarded a sculpture designed by Catalan artist Xavier Corberó inspired by the columns of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion of Barcelona, symbol of the Prize and one of the 20th century’s major architectural works.”

    And this is copied from the Adventure Journal link:

    “Architectural schools are often the purview of high-flying conceptual work and fanciful designs that never make the leap from sketch to board and nail, but not the Bergen School of Architecture in Norway. There, the emphasis is on applied architecture, on getting hands calloused and learning what works and what doesn’t when put into practice. In the case of the Tubakuba (tuba cube) mountain hut, students built a 1:1 model on the grounds of the school, then constructed on site, on one of the rugged peaks that ring the city.

    The entrance, of course, is the most notable element of the design, a curvilinear passage that brings one from the elements to shelter.

    The project leader, architect Espen Folgerø, told Dezeen, “It gives children a place to play even if the hut is closed, adults have to crouch while children don’t, but most importantly it creates a spatial sequence where you enter a tiny hole and come out on the other side to a spectacular view.”

    Although short, this journey must feel transformative. Aren’t cabins, after all, not just about escaping the elements but about our juxtaposition with them, too? And doesn’t this passage offer both metaphor and experience?

    The cabin is constructed 95 percent of wood, much of which was scraps from local mills. The dark cladding is larch that’s been charred using a Japanese technique called shou sugi ban, which helps repel insect damage, fungi, and fire. The entrance is made of strips of Norwegian pine — students hauled two old hot water boilers to the site and turned them into a 20-foot bathtub, in which they soaked the pine until it was flexible enough to mount.”

  • March 18, 2015, 7:22 pm

    I got a good chuckle from this strange tiny house but a good LOL from the comments.
    Thanks Alex…I needed a good laugh. :-D)

  • Susanne
    March 18, 2015, 7:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, the view!!! And love the wood inside!!! BUTT the hole ??? Confused!

  • Kay
    March 19, 2015, 3:53 pm

    Well…..the view cannot be beat looking out that window. But don’t turn around!

  • Denise R
    March 19, 2015, 9:17 pm

    It is like a porthole into another dimension! That’s what I saw the minute I looked at the hole. And with that view…wow!

  • LC
    March 20, 2015, 11:05 pm

    I’ve been enamored with Norway for a long time. I want to live there. 🙂 Or at least visit awhile…..

    • Sarah
      April 24, 2015, 2:36 pm

      I feel the same about Norway. I’d like ti visit but I bet that I wouldn’t want to leave. 🙂

  • Ellen from Bergen
    March 30, 2015, 5:00 pm

    Just to rectify some misunderstandings; Although the cabin Tubakuba is actually quite cozy, with a small wooden stove and the remarkable view, it hasn´t really been built to function as any run-of-the-mill cabin.
    Here in Bergen, we consider it a piece of architectural art you can sleep in.

    Staying there is free, but only families with children are allowed to book the cabin. Cooking is done outside, under the cabin, on camping stoves (bring your own). You also get the keys to the nearby kindergarden toilets, and water can be collected at the Fløien restaurant.

    The entrance was is not a problem at all, it feels more like a hobbit´s entrance. There is also no electricity, so near to no risk of a fire.

    I spent a night there last year with my kids. I put out my sleeping bag by the window, and woke up to a city bathed in sunlight. Beautiful!

    • April 24, 2015, 3:27 pm

      That sounds like bliss and thanks for answering a lot of the questions I had.

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