Cabins in the Lyngen Alps
If you love the far north, you’ll love the Lyngen Alps. And if you love the Lyngen Alps, you’ll love the bungalows by architect Snorre Stinessen.
Never heard of the Lyngen Alps? There’s no shame in that. You probably haven’t had the chance to go to northern Norway all that often – unless, of course, you live there. It’s more of a shame not to think about going there. The landscape of the Scandinavian mountains on the Lyngen Peninsula, with the fjords Ullsfjord in the west and Lyngenfjord in the east, is jaw-droppingly beautiful.
You should visit this spot of land soon, especially as the Lyngen Alps are still relatively untouched by tourism. Apart from reindeer, sea eagles and grey seals, it is mainly mountain hikers, freeride fans and extreme skiers who are drawn to the back of beyond on the northern Norwegian peninsula. There is simply nothing that compares to descending from the alpine peaks down to sea level.
Award-winning architect Snorre Stinessen has arguably designed the best cabins in the Norwegian Lyngen Alps for enjoying the natural spectacle and indulging in activities in the earth’s near-Arctic zones.
Weekend waterside home north of the Arctic Circle
Not all of Snorre Stinessen’s cabins are available for tourists to stay in. Tove Feldt and Hagbard Kramer are a lucky couple: they not only found what they considered to be the perfect piece of land for their weekend home – but also the perfect architect who would realize the project with them: Snorre Stinessen.
As a Master of Architecture from the Norges Tekniske Høyskole and the Politecnico di Milano, Stinessen places great importance on his studio working closely with clients and supervising every project in detail.
Cabin in Lyngen Alps: north of the Arctic Circle
The wooden cabin in Lyngen Alps is perfectly tailored to its location and built for the climate there. The location is near the village of Ravika, which is on the 69th parallel, north of the Arctic Circle.
There is snow here for half the year. In the winter, it is pitch-black for two months. But two things make up for this for residents and visitors alike: the efficient geothermal heating and the wood-burning stove, which creates an atmospheric, crackling fire and warms you up quickly.
And then there is the scenic backdrop, the untouched nature and silence. During the rest of the year – in daylight – seeing a reindeer trotting by in the clear air or being able to watch whales in the blue of the fjord: that is truly something special. On top of this, in the evenings there are the northern lights, or aurora borealis, with their brightly coloured patterns of light that flicker in yellow, green, blue and even shades of red.
Energy self-sufficient cedar wood construction
The bungalow in Lyngen Alps is a timber building that blends seamlessly into the rock by the fjord – very close to the sea, but in an elevated position. The outer shell including the roof is made of untreated cedar wood. This turns silver-grey over time, but withstands the harsh climate very well. The interior, on the other hand, is clad in oak, which creates a warm, sheltered atmosphere.
The floor plan and exact location of the cabin were planned not only taking into account the natural stone formations of the landscape but also the position of the sun, architect Snorre Stinessen reports. When aligning the walls, he used the wind currents as a guide.
Panoramic windows on three sides
The living area is positioned facing the sea. With floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides of the bungalow, the owners can enjoy fully panoramic sea views. Only the windows of the master bedroom offer a view of the snow-covered mountains.
The sauna and bathroom are located in the connecting section between the bedroom and the main body of the building. Naturally, the sauna offers direct access to the outdoors.
Snorre Stinessen also designed the holiday homes on the Norwegian island of Mannshausen. But if you’re more into adrenaline kicks than serene nature and solitude, then Tom Norland’s Bolder Skylodges are ideal.
Exclusive Aurora Lodge: available for booking
Also located in the remote Lyngen Alps, or Lyngsalpan as they are called in Norwegian, is the Aurora Lodge. The building ensemble functions partly as a private retreat, partly as a small lodge. It consists of a main building with two units and terraces, a separate suite, and a sauna on the other side of the stream.
The Aurora Lodge, which is open all year round, is another “luxurious window” to the enchanting spectacle of the aurora borealis in the heart of the untouched northern Norwegian wilderness. By all accounts you need a helicopter to get there, so exclusivity is guaranteed (bookings handled by operator Black Tomato).
From £75,000 for 12 people
A five-night stay is available starting from £75,000 (for up to 12 people). Adventurous visitors need not limit themselves to watching the northern lights. There are a range of exciting activities to choose from, including kayaking with orcas for company, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, husky sledding or snowmobiling through Arctic terrain.
Text: Linda Benkö
Images: Snorre Stinessen Architecture