There has been plenty of hype around the Danish word ‘hygge‘ – and for good reason. The buzzword translates to a feeling of cosiness and contentment, crowned ‘the secret to happy living’ in a Sunday Times and New York Times Best Seller. Epitomising Scandinavian culture, hygge goes hand in hand with Danish design and naturally, with Norm Architects. The studio has a firm grasp on what it means to create a visionary home to hibernate in, set high in the Norwegian woods. Austere and private, this cluster home is hygge in the truest sense of the word.
DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY: Norm Architects
While hygge generally encourages a cosy indoor experience, it upholds a strong bond with nature. On a hillside overlooking Norway’s largest lake, there was no shortage of captivating views for the Gjoevik House. Designing a home to maximise without detracting from the landscape’s natural beauty was high on Norm Architecture’s agenda and to do so the firm looked to a cluster structure. Built to the slope in composition, the house is six overlapping cubes of different sizes clad with timber and opened up by large-scale windows. The cladding is designed to get better with age, transforming to a silvery finish that brings it even closer to its surrounds; a seamless interaction between architecture and nature.
In true Nordic form, Norm Architects have refined a home to its bare bones with clever design twists. Taking a step inside, the interiors are meticulously intertwined by structure and material. A large part of the facade faces the lake, ensuring the utmost sense of seclusion. The kitchen best enjoys the lakeside facade at the centre of the house with floor-to-ceiling views on both sides. The concept of the cluster house runs deep, giving you a sensation of being together even as you are not necessarily in the same room. Subtle nuances in materiality segregate and integrate in each space; concrete floor becomes wall and timber wall becomes floor. Ensuring a distinct sense of depth and flow, the Gjoevik House has just the right amount of intimate pockets and spacious common areas just right for family living. On these minimalist foundations, tailor-made furniture is positioned exactly where you wish to curl up and enjoy the enviable sight of a Norwegian winter wonderland.
Norm Architects have always had a firm grasp on hygge, but it couldn’t be on better display than in this clustered retreat in the Norwegian hinterland. Forget a pompous display on the hillside, the Gjoevik house has a way of staying humble and interconnected to its surrounds while asserting Norm Architect’s enduring quality of design. When the Nordic winter comes, you know exactly where to find us.
‘Beautifully blending in with its harsh yet peaceful surroundings with its humble structure and cosy cubes, the house showcases the epitome of hygge.’
— Norm Architects