Only 30 square meters, the Norwegian architects Lund Hagem’s designed cabin situated in Sandefjord, Norway, the name Knapphullet (Buttonhole) is indeed appropriate. Knapphullet is a small annex replacing two small sheds on the property.
This small seaside holiday home nestles against a cliff, and features a stepped concrete roof folding down to the ground that doubles as a viewing platform. Knapphullet is a small annex to one of the Oslo studio’s founding architects’ summer residence.
The small annex contains an open living space with a bathroom and a mezzanine bed that sleeps two people. Although the building occupies such a small footprint, the space expands vertically over four levels including a roof terrace.
The Buttonhole Cabin in Norway
The project began as an idea for how to utilize a naturally sheltered area surrounded by large rocks and dense vegetation. The idea developed to create a way to climb up from this shelter to see the panoramic view over the sea, which led to the characteristic shape of the roof: a stepped ramp leads up from the terrain to the roof.
Wedged between weather-beaten boulders, a typical example of a Norwegian coastal landscape, double its height, Cabin Knapphullet is protected from extreme weather conditions. Its walls are glazed, but it is sheltered beneath a chunky concrete roof.
Related: Remake of a Norwegian Summer Cabin
A sheltered outdoor area
The annex is accessed by a footpath that runs along the small meandering wooded area to the north of the site. The slit on the roof pours light into the building, combined with a hammock.
A matching concrete patio fits around the rocky outcrops and provides a sheltered outdoor area with an open fire. A concrete bench extends along one side of the patio and through a glass wall into the small residence, which also has concrete floors and is warmed by a wood-burning stove.
Exploring the materials
Exploring the detailed execution of each material expands this seemingly restricted material palette. The roof is executed in 270mm thick reinforced concrete with 20mm VIP insulation underneath. Courtyard and floors are white concrete. The concrete itself is water resistant. Acoustic ceiling is covered with woven oak strips to mask joints in the panels making a continuous surface. Interior walls are natural sawn oak 50/50mm.
The Buttonhole Cabin in Norway, text description provided by the architects.
All photos: Kim Müller, Ivar Kvaal