Text description provided by the architects. Cabin Thunder Top, is built on the periphery of the barren treeless moorland of Hardangervidda National Park - about 1000 meters above sea level, surrounded by weather-beaten dwarf birches and heathers. As everything put here from the outside, it is slowly appropriated by nature. The cabin is an inhabitable beacon, a man-made peak in the rolling fells of Hardangervidda, worn down by glaciers during the ice age.
The 30 steps from the ground to the top of the structure brings you to a panoramic view of the lake in one direction, and the plains of Hardangervidda in the other. Visits by wild reindeer herds and grazing sheep are common. The facade is clad with untreated ore-pine, commonly used in the medieval stave churches which are still standing after 900 years. The altitude of the site also allowed the window frames to be produced in untreated heartwood, leaving it practically maintenance-free. As the cabin is covered in snow during the winter season its roof is the perfect place to build a ski jump, in the spirit of Sondre Norheim, known as the father of modern skiing and for ski jumping from his own roof.
The cabin is oriented to shield the outdoor seating areas from the biting northerly wind and blowing snow. Its shape creates turbulence preventing snow from piling up on the south-facing terrace, leaving it ready for the traditional Easter family gatherings when the temperatures rise and the Norwegians finally can feel the warmth of the sun after the long winter.
The Thunder Top is built as an extension to a traditional Norwegian log cabin, with low ceiling height and small windows with muntins. The extension is 17 meters long, 3.5 meters wide and 6 meters tall. It is attached to the log cabin through a glass hallway containing a wardrobe and a utility sink, with direct access to the outside. Inspired by the traditional open-hearth cottages,
Thunder Top is basically one big room, with double ceiling height. Everything is quickly heated by the small wood stove. With lots of small nooks to hide away, the cabin is both functioning as the big family room and a place to find some time for yourself with your favourite book. It’s the family ateliér, workshop, or weekend office. A place to paint, write, read, or just being inspired by the views. The kids love the “hot dog stand” in the terrace wall, the ladders and of course the thrilling climb to the top of the roof. The big glass panes make the extension very light and spacious contrasting the old cottage.