Elevated treetop cabins are inspired by A-frames, firetowers & Moomins

Espen Surnevik
© Espen Surnevik

The idea of 'slow travel' is catching on in many parts of the world, including Norway, home to majestic stretches of boreal forest and awe-inspiring fjords. Aiming to offer travellers a quiet way to enjoy such natural splendour, Oslo-based architect Espen Surnevik created these two mysterious-looking elevated cabins on a family farm in the eastern part of the country. Measuring 40 square meters (430 square feet) each, they both feature a distinctive triangular form, and are accessed via a spiral staircase enclosed in metal mesh cylinder.

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Seen over at Designboom, the PAN Treetop Cabins are inspired by three things in particular: traditional North American A-frame cabins; elevated firetowers for surveilling the forest; and the work of Finnish illustrator Tove Jansson, best known as the creator of the Moomins. Says Surnevik:

Jansson’s work is most famous for her creation of the Moomins, but her texts and drawings define a whole mythology, I will say, created around the Nordic view on nature and the Finnish forests. For me, it represents a genuine feeling of how the Nordic individual relates to the long distances between settlements in rural Scandinavia, the loneliness, the dark winters, and the cold climate.

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Clad in striking dark-coloured steel and zinc and lifted up on stilts to minimize its environmental impact, the tented shape of the cabins also allude to a "primal shape," which has the "potential of being both intimate, in its width, and monumental in its height," explains Surnevik.

Maren Hansen© Maren Hansen

Inside each of the two cabins, there is a mini-kitchen, woodstove, a sleeping loft, and a bathroom with shower and toilet. There are additional fold-down beds that are hidden in the walls, making it possible to sleep up to six guests in total.

The light-coloured wood walls contrast well with the darker surfaces, and both cabins are insulated and have radiant underfloor heating. In addition, the interiors are furnished with locally sourced textiles and materials, and the angle and placement of the cabins has been carefully considered to offer optimal solar gain during the day.

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

Rasmus Norlander© Rasmus Norlander

There's nothing quite like spending some time in the woods, especially in a lovely cabin; you can either find out more information via Espen Surnevik or Instagram, or book them via Pan Hytter.

Elevated treetop cabins are inspired by A-frames, firetowers & Moomins
Perched up on stilts, these modern cabins offer visitors a great view of the boreal forest.

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