Location: Okstindan, Nordland, Norway
Architect: Einar Jarmund and Håkon Vigsnæs
Client: Hemnes Turistforening
Completion date: 2014
Built area: 270m2
Primary architects: Einar Jarmund, Håkon Vigsnæs, Alessandra Kosberg, Ane Sonderaal Tolfsen.
Consultants: Walter Jacobsen MNT, RAMBOLL AS, MBA Entrepreneur AS
Photographer: Einar aslaksen, Jan Inge Larsen, Svein Arne Brygfjeld, Tommy Eliassen
Text provided by the architects:
The Rabot Tourist Cabin is one of many DNT (Norwegian Trekking Association) lodging facilities throughout Norway. It is located at 1200 meters above sea level, close to the glacier at Okstindan in northern Norway. The site is spectacular and the mountains and glaciers are in close proximity. The weather can be extremely harsh and the structure is constructed for heavy winds and storms.
A secondary rescue hut is placed 50 meters away from the main cabin as a safe shelter in case of destruction of the main cabin. The site is inaccessible by road and is only reachable on foot or on skis. The cabin is named after the French glaciologist and geographer Charles Rabot, who thoroughly explored the mountain areas in the province of Nordland in the 1880s. it is planned and built with local materials and with great local commitment.
The main cabin is an eye-catching yet neutral volume in the landscape with a diagonal programmatic and spatial concept. The behavior of snow and heavy winds at the site has generated the simple shape of the cabin, without protruding elements. The shape of the two chimneys mimics the topography of the mountain tops and acts as protecting structures to avoid the use of tension cables.
The cabin has around 30 beds divided into seven bedrooms. The two entrances, placed on two opposite sides, have practical functions with restroom, firewood, and food storage. In the center of the cabin, a spacious mezzanine is running above the ground floor, making an intimate space for the kitchen underneath. Diagonally placed in relation to the kitchen. Two common areas with double ceiling height create spacious rooms with large window surfaces. The characteristic windows open plateau and the valley. By contrast, the various bedrooms have smaller windows framing the surroundings.
The exterior cladding consists of locally cut, thick timber boards with a coarse finish and is treated with ferric sulfate for a grey, natural feel. The same panels are used indoors in the common areas for an outdoor-indoor familiarity. The bedrooms and secondary functions have white varnished panels for a brighter feel. The color scheme of the interior is dimmed while visitors themselves will add various colors with their clothes and gear. The interior furniture and kitchen will be locally made in birch plywood.
All windows have been calibrated for accurate gas pressure on-site to protect the glass from possible high altitude self-destruction. The mountain cabin has no cabled electricity and solar panel energy provides power for indoor lighting. The heating is based on two efficient fire stoves, one in each sliding doors for more efficient heating when fewer people visit the cabin.