Architecture

Hardy hiking cabins shaped to withstand high winds

Hardy hiking cabins shaped to ...
Tungestølen currently consists of three cabins, though a total of nine are planned
Tungestølen currently consists of three cabins, though a total of nine are planned
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Tungestølen currently consists of three cabins, though a total of nine are planned
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Tungestølen currently consists of three cabins, though a total of nine are planned
Tungestølen's cabins consist of glulam frames, covered by sheets of CLT, and are clad in pine
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Tungestølen's cabins consist of glulam frames, covered by sheets of CLT, and are clad in pine
Tungestølen is located in Luster, in the western part of Norway, on a small plateau overlooking the Jostedalen glacier
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Tungestølen is located in Luster, in the western part of Norway, on a small plateau overlooking the Jostedalen glacier
Tungestølen's dormitory cabin, pictured, currently sleeps up to 30 people
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Tungestølen's dormitory cabin, pictured, currently sleeps up to 30 people
Tungestølen's mess hall cabin allows visitors to gaze out at the stunning vistas as they dine
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Tungestølen's mess hall cabin allows visitors to gaze out at the stunning vistas as they dine
Tungestølen's dormitory cabin features a simple utilitarian shelter
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Tungestølen's dormitory cabin features a simple utilitarian shelter
Tungestølen's sleeps up to 30 people in close proximity
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Tungestølen's sleeps up to 30 people in close proximity
Tungestølen's cabins have an unusual shape which actually serves a practical purpose and is intended to mitigate the effects of the wind
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Tungestølen's cabins have an unusual shape which actually serves a practical purpose and is intended to mitigate the effects of the wind
Tungestølen was commissioned by Luster Turlag, a local branch of the Norwegian National Trekking Association
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Tungestølen was commissioned by Luster Turlag, a local branch of the Norwegian National Trekking Association
Tungestølen's dining hall has a ceiling that reaches a maximum height of 4.6 m (15 ft) and has a stone fireplace to keep diners warm
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Tungestølen's dining hall has a ceiling that reaches a maximum height of 4.6 m (15 ft) and has a stone fireplace to keep diners warm
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On December 25, 2011, a cyclone destroyed Norway's Tungestølen Tourist Cabin, which had served hikers for over a century. Commissioned to create its replacement, Snøhetta did its best to ensure the same thing won't happen again any time soon and designed a cluster of cabins that are shaped to mitigate the wind's effects.

Snøhetta was hired to design the Tungestølen project by the local branch of the Norwegian National Trekking Association in Luster, western Norway, following an architecture competition. The project is situated on a small plateau overlooking the Jostedalen glacier and will eventually consist of nine cabins, though so far only three have been completed.

The main cabin contains a communal dining hall with large dining tables and a stone fireplace. Nearby lies a dormitory cabin that can sleep up to 30 people in close proximity, as well as another smaller private cabin. The interior decor is simple and utilitarian.

Tungestølen's sleeps up to 30 people in close proximity
Tungestølen's sleeps up to 30 people in close proximity

The cabins' unusual exterior appearance certainly makes them stand out, but serves a practical purpose too: their shape is designed to mitigate the effects of the strong winds experienced in the area. A Snøhetta representative told us that its team used specialist wind analysis software on a 3D model and consulted wind experts during the design process.

"With the ravaging of the original Tungestølen cabin fresh in mind, Snøhetta designed a new constellation of nine robust pentagonal and oblique cabins, made with wooden glu-lam frames, covered by sheets of CLT and clad in ore pine," explains the firm. "The outward-facing walls of the cabins have been given a beak-like shape to slow down strong winds sweeping up from the valley floor. Inside, the playful shape of the cabins frames the mountains and valleys outside through angular and panoramic windows, adding views and light to the spaces while encouraging individual contemplation and respite."

Source: Snøhetta

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4 comments
Username
the last cabin(a picture would have been nice) lasted over 100 years. I doubt these will.
guzmanchinky
These are so cool!
windykites
Surely one design is better than the others? Go for the best.
Karmudjun
The last cabin was solid enough to withstand the high winds and weather - will these new cabins withstand the same? Or does the design negate the need for structures to 'bend with the wind'? Are they earthquake ready as well? Absolutely wind-tunnel and wind analysis software has resulted in structures withstanding winds above the speed of sound....if these can weather earthquakes, they may last multiple centuries! Thanks for the article!