Mork-Ulnes Architects completed the SkiGard Hytte, a modern mountain hut built on pillars and made entirely of wood. Ski park Hytte consists of a regular grid of 45 wooden pillars clad with ski park – these are long and narrow quarter-cut tree trunks that are traditionally laid out diagonally by Norwegian farmers as a fence.
The wooden columns raise the 145 square meter house one and a half meters above the ground in order to disturb the landscape as little as possible. This allows the animals to continue to traverse their previous grazing path and not displace the natural features of the place such as water, rocks and grasses. Local sheep and cows occasionally take shelter under the house, which is reminiscent of traditional Norwegian houses and construction methods. The architects opted for natural materials for the roof, whose grass surface is reminiscent of traditional grass roofs.
Floor-to-ceiling windows six meters long let light into the cabin and offer a picturesque view of the mountains. Although the house has large areas of glass, the glass is three-layer argon double-glazing – and when combined with the insulated grass roof that holds snow in the winter for extra insulation, and the over 8-inch thick insulated walls, the cabin holds the heat remarkably well despite that Nordic climates.
The three bedroom cabin also has a sauna and an annex to give guests a private space. The interior walls and the ceiling were made of pine wood and the entrance was made of untreated heartwood pine. The interior of the wooden cabin is divided along its length into four smaller rooms, each accommodated under a truncated cone ceiling covered with a skylight. All interior details are made of wood, including the cabinets, custom furniture, and even the walls and floors of the shower, toilet flush tops, and refrigerator handles. Building the house for themselves allowed the architects to make those decisions.