Tiny cabin provides off-grid digs in Norway's mountains

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The shelter sits in the mountains of Bergen, Norway (Photo: Gunnar Sørås)

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The result of a design-build workshop at Bergen's School of Architecture that was headed by OPA Form's Espen Folgerø, the Tubakuba (or Tuba Cube) Mountain Hub is available to anyone to use for one night, for free, but is particularly aimed at families with young kids, in a bid to instill a sense of appreciation for nature in the little ones. It's accessed by a short tunnel that brings to mind something from a fairytale.

Measuring 14 sq m (150 sq ft) and described by the architects as something between a tent and a cabin, the shelter was built in the mountains of Bergen, Norway, almost wholly from wood. The interior is finished in plywood, while the exterior is clad with burned larch, which was treated, like The Observatory, using the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban method of charring to prevent decay.

The shelter operates off-grid, and there's no electricity and no toilet. It doesn't have an outer door either, but both adults and kids should fit just fine through the so-called "tuba tunnel," and an inner door helps keep out the elements. It does have a couple of choice places to bed-down, a wood-burning stove, a large seating area, and what looks like a great view.

Though the Tubakuba Mountain Hub, which was completed in 2014, certainly doesn't match Antoine's strangeness, it's still a little different from the norm.

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