Vjuhytta is a sustainable compact cabin on wheels designed by DARK Arkitekter for Marika Andersen and Ivar Hogganvik, founders of Vju.
The idea behind Vjuhytta was to make a reasonably priced, sustainable and flexible cabin that give the chance to enjoy the same founders values: nature and spending quality time with friends and family. A simple cabin where people could get closer to nature, and that didn’t ruin the landscape.
“I wanted a cabin in the mountains in the winter, one by the sea during the summer and one in the woods during fall. In reality I couldn’t afford a cabin anywhere“, says Ivar Hogganvik. “When I took weekend trips to the mountain, I often found myself in places just at stressful as the city I just came from. Long lines at the ski lift and the grocery store. Light- and noise-pollution everywhere. I was looking for a more down to earth feeling of “hygge” – where I really could connect with nature.”
He felt that the market for cabins and weekend homes wasn’t suited for him. Modern cabins were bigger, more expensive and had higher standards that he really needed. He also wanted a place that wouldn’t make him feel bad if he didn’t use it every weekend.
“I wanted a guilt free compact cabin. A place that doesn’t work against what I went into nature to experience. I didn’t find a good solution to the problem, so I had to create it myself,” says Marika Andersen.
The challenge for Dark Arkutekter, one of the most renowned architecture firms in Norway, was to design a sustainable both in construction and usage modern mountain cabin, that looks and feels great, that can be moved around.
DARK Arkitekter have previously designed buildings like Oslo Skate Hall, Aker BP’s headquarter Fornebuporten and several buildings in Oslo’s signature skyline “Barcode”.
“What Ivar and Marika want to achieve with Vjuhytta is very much in line with how we work with sustainability at DARK Arkitekter. They came to us and challenged the concept of a modern cabin, and what a cabin really needs to be“, says Tom Juul- Gam – partner at DARK Arkitekter.
A compact cabin on wheels questions what luxury really is. At DARK Arkitekter they think that being close to nature is a type of luxury that marble and heated floors can’t compete with.
“Our focus during the design process was to be able to get as close to nature as possible, not just protect you from the elements. Vjuhytta can be opened up and has flexible solutions that allow you to experience different landscapes, during winter and summer” says Sofia Cunha at DARK Arkitekter. “When space and weight is so limited you must ask yourself “What do I really need to be comfortable?”.
The result became place-built and multi-purpose flexible solutions. With an architect coordinating the design Cunha believes they also were able to create smarter solutions for water and electric systems that other compact house projects.
“The idea of Vjuhytta as a “swiss army knife” was something I had in the back of my head during the design process. Not only because we were trying to squeeze a lot of functions into a small space, but also because we wanted the mountain cabin to be able to “fold” out. The wall isn’t just a wall. It folds out and becomes outdoor furniture or a balcony. Or a rack to hold your skis for that matter. Everything is multi-purpose” continues Cunha.
From January 2021 Vju have 21 Vjuhytter available for sale. For 1,39 million Norwegian kroner (around 135.000€) you get a 22 square meter sustainable design cabin on wheels.
Vjuhytta is built by Askim Entrepenør in Norway and meet the requirements to fit on a hanger, which means it gets its own license plate and is road legal. Vju offers a free lot and transport the first year.
Images: DARK Arkitekter