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Espen Surnevik
, Norwegen, Pan-Cabins

Living Among the Treetops: Pan Cabins in Norway

The clients’ vision was to create a peaceful retreat in the middle of the deep Norwegian forest known as Finnskogen. The area offers tourists many activities including fishing, hiking and cycling.

In the design phase, architect Espen Surnevik focused primarily on the forest itself. However, the building method of North American A-frame lodges served as further inspiration. These small cabins normally sit on the ground, but the PAN cabins stand on a delicate framework that lifts them above the canopy of the dense Finnskogen forest. A crane was used to set the preassembled cabins onto their supporting structures, which are 8 metres tall.

Structurally, the supports call to mind the construction of Scandinavian lookout towers that serve to spot forest fires as early as possible. This combination of juxtaposing typologies created a project that joins the qualities of both sources of inspiration: the panoramic view of a lookout tower and the cosy spaces of a small A-frame.

Up to six people can sleep in one of the PAN cabins; extra beds fold out from the walls. The second level is accessed via a staircase and is home to the bathroom, which features a toilet and shower. Pinewood predominates inside the cabin; this is complemented by textiles made of local wool.

From outside, the structure has a reduced colour scheme. The façade consists of dark, oxidized zinc plates; the stilts are of black steel. Selected metals and alloys have been used in every detail in order to meet all the necessary requirements.

Further articles to the issue DETAIL 10/2019 are available here.

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