The Woodnest cabins are a modern getaway hidden amongst the trees in Odda, Norway. Each abode sits perched on a single tree and attaches to the trunk via a steel collar. This eliminates the need for additional structures below, and all that's visible is the still-growing pine tree that pierces the cabins. This minimally invasive approach was carefully designed by Helen & Hard Architects to respect the existing land and steep topography. The resulting method allows the cabins to float approximately 15 to 20 feet off of the ground, leaving the natural forest untouched.
Helen & Hard's ecological approach resulted from a shared view with clients Sally and Kjartan Aano, who also felt that the cabins must respect the forest. “Stemming from the client’s wish to create a unique spatial experience that connects to both the ordinary and extraordinary sensation of climbing and exploring trees,” the architects explain, “our aim was to create a space that truly embodies what it means to dwell in nature.”
The site is not accessible by car. Instead, guests hike along a steep mountain walking path that leads to the twin structures. The procession ends with an elegant wooden ramp that allows them to reach the cabin entrance located up to 20 feet in the air. Anyone willing to complete this pilgrimage will find it well worth the trip as they'll have wide-open views of the landscape beyond.
Though tiny, every inch of the 160 square-foot interior space is cleverly organized. A small bathroom and bedroom are tucked on either side of the entrance, guiding guests towards the front of the structure. The remaining space is designed as a kitchen/living area facing a glass façade that almost reaches from floor to ceiling. All other building materials are designed in vernacular wood style and utilize timber for structure, untreated shingles that wrap around the cone-like form, and elegant wooden ribs to complete the interior ceiling.
The Woodnest cabin is proof that incredible design does not always mean soaring spaces. In this case, great architecture is found in cleverly organized interiors supported by vernacular architecture that respects its landscape. Both cabins are available for rent on the Woodnest website.