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Winter cottage, Sirdalen Valley, Norway

sirdalenThis striking ‘winter cottage’ is already quite nicely settled in the mountainside, but in a few seasons, it will be even more so, say its designers at Oslo, Norway-based architectural firm, Filter Arkitekter.

The house is located in the Sirdalen Valley, in Sirdal, a municipality in Vest-Ader county, in southern Norway. It is a mountainous area known for its ski resorts and scenic vistas over lakes and meadows.


Hugging the mountain near the Ålsheia ski area, the 165 square meter (1,776 sq.ft.) concrete building is meant to become nearly invisible over time.

Seated into the mountainside and already camouflaged by plants and vegetation, the building reiterates the shapes of the mountain slopes. In time, it will stain with water that runs naturally over the un-guttered side walls and roof.

Even better, it will eventually be covered with moss making it literally part of the mountain’s natural scenery, the only tell-tale signs of a building being the straight lines under the moss.

While concrete was a great choice for the owners who wanted a low-maintenance house, its hardness and apparent coldness were softened by the use of wood, especially in the kitchen, sauna, doors and railings.

The two-level cottage’s lower floor has the living room and sauna as well as technical room, storage and garage.

On the upper level, a large living room surrounded by four bedrooms. The kitchen and dining areas are separated from the living room by a variation in floor height.


So challenging was the project that not only construction engineers but also the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute participated by completing a study that provided the guidelines for the building and dimensions of the cottage. – Tuija Seipell.


Photoraphs by Lise Bjelland


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