At the far end of the Trøndelag in Norway coast lies an island with wild nature and excellent architecture.
Norway is a country famous for its natural attractions such as the midnight sun, the Norwegian fjords and the majestic mountains. Undoubtedly, the countryside is breathtaking and Stokkøya Sjøsenter is one of the best places to visit if you seek natural beauty and the ideal spot for Instagram-worthy photos.
The sea around Stokkøya is brilliant for diving, and over time the site became a base for divers from outside the local area. A building call Sjøsenteret – the Sea Centre – was used for accommodation, communal area and eating. The Sea Centre was originally the main building of a farm called Botnan and was also at one point used as a workshop for a welding firm.
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The island has shown the way for how rural communities should be developed as part of the Bygda 2.0 project, which is the development of a sustainable, upgraded, urban and attractive small village – a “microcity”. In powerful nature, and with a focus on architecture, meeting places, food, art, and culture, a unique, condensed living and working environment is under development. It is about the establishment of social structures, modern living arrangements, use of renewable energy, food culture and nature experiences. All this together with a forward-looking environment for business and research – a living laboratory.
Nature here is wild and beautiful and practically untouched, both on land and at sea, and the aim is to keep it in as untouched a state as possible. Conservation and gentle use of the surroundings has been an essential part of the development process and a deciding factor for all the projects, as a strong interaction between nature and architecture and between landscapes and buildings has been in focus.
Some years ago, Torild Langklopp, the owner and manager of the Sea Center, came up with the idea of moving to a small remote island of Norway and build small summer houses for visitors and her dream was transferred into a perfect place for everyone who seeks relaxation with gorgeous surroundings at the Norwegian fjords.
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Food, culture, architecture, social meeting places and passionate local commitment should keep a rural community alive. Many of the best elements from big city life with the big ocean outside the kitchen window have been incorporated.
In Middagshaugen, in the hill behind the beach, there were 26 plots allotted to holiday residences, and in 2003 Torild and her husband started building the cottages. Their choice of a modern design was not to everyone’s liking – some likened the cottages to portacabins, when they were exhibited as an example of successful new European architecture at the Italian architectural exhibition ‘Architettura e memoria’ in Genoa. Most of the holiday cottages have now been sold to private owners, but some of them are available for rent.
The architects behind the cottages, the Beach Bar and the Sub-units are Ogmund Sørli and Ragnhild Erdal of the Pir 2 Arkitektkontor.
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Today, Stokkøya Sjøsenter (Sea Center) offers different options of accommodation for every taste. Hidden in the landscape up in the cliffs are these coastal houses. Stokkøya Strandhotell is located on the shoreline at Hosnavika. The rooms have the funny name SUB-cabins, “sleep under the ground”, a construction style to make the least possible impact on the landscape. Each one has its own distinct style, offering bathroom and private covered porch; self-contained cottages in case you want to share them with friends or family.
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If living on the beach is your thing, spots for your own tent can be reserved throughout summer. All lodging options have been created with simplicity and minimalism in mind and always in harmony with the landscape of the island. Stokkøya Sjøsenter has a total capacity of 90 beds available and conference facilities for groups of up to 50 people.
Building work of The Beach Bar started In 2005. Originally meant to be just a shack on the beach, a place for the holiday makers to meet, it has since started catering for a much wider range of guests. The Beach Bar is built quite literally on the foundations of an old cement factory which was in operation from 1947 to late 70s.
At the Beach Bar, the skilled and experienced staff creates a new menu every day based on the daily catch from the sea, meat from their own farm and seasonal products. The drinks menu is put together by professionals to complement your food in the best possible way.
Also remember to bring fresh cinnamon rolls from Stokkøya Bakeri – voted Bakery of the Year 2022 for its important role in the local community.
During your visit, you may also enroll to various courses such as a beer course with a local microbrewer, a shellfish course during your lunch or a team building activity. Apart from those, the spot where the Sea Center is located is perfect for kayaking, cycling, diving, fishing, and sailing.
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Nature itself is the starting point for any and all your activities out here – whether you are enjoying a good meal while taking in the fantastic view, going for a walk in the surrounding area, taking a bath in the Dutch tubs or a dip in the sea or playing about with a dinghy, a kayak or a fishing boat.
At Stokkøya, guests can enjoy and take their time to fully appreciate nature from wherever they choose to be. And maybe the best way to do it is to do absolutely nothing.
You arrive here after a drive through the spruce-clad municipality Fosen. The road winds around and between narrow fjords – until you meet the sea and the 525-meter-long Stokkøy Bridge.
Alternatively, visitors may fly to Værnes Airport in Trondheim and then either take the bus from Trondheim Central Station all the way to Stokkøya, or rent a car at the airport and come straight to the hotel.
Wild Nature and Excellent Architecture in Norway, written by Tor Kjolberg
Feature photo (on top) © Ove Gjermstad – Trøndelag reiseliv