Norway’s ‘Day-Trip Cabins’ Inspire Our Love of the Great Outdoors

With a Scandi-minimal vibe, the helicopter-drop modular cabin from Feste is just what we need to reignite a passion for the Great Outdoors. At SHARP, we recognize the need to reset and embrace the zen of the wild nature of the Canadian Rockies and our National Parks. How about a warming cabin with panoramic outlooks and Nordic insulation to keep out the elements (and the Grizzlies)? We also have the perfect mini-chic kitchenette to go with it.

We chatted with architect David Fjagesund on the vision behind the 28-square-metre-zen of the Dagstur, a distilled 301 square feet of panoramic solitude. Canada is the spiritual North American twin to Scandinavia, and this day-trip cabin is the perfect fit.

feste cabin from below

We sat down on a call with David to ask about the inspiration behind the quietly spoken cabin, and he told us more: “The day-trip cabin project was a design competition that Feste won in 2021. We always aim to let our designs spring from the local qualities of the site; for this project, however, the brief was to design one type of cabin suitable for 25 different sites in greatly varying landscapes throughout a county in Norway. From an aerial perspective, the shape of the county can be seen as Norway’s spearhead. These aspects were interpreted into the design of the cabin.”

This can be seen in the angular spearhead design of the small wooden cabin, which has a Nordic minimal vibe and an almost ascetic purity to its vision. There is an emphasis on sustainable, locally sourced materials, offering a panoramic view of the stunning landscapes outside. We could see this heli-dropped into the rugged wilderness of Baffin Island or being commissioned for public use in Banff or the Nahanni National Reserve. (Petition anyone?)

feste cabin window view

David also explains what a refreshing change from minimal-Lux client builds was, as these are built for public use: “We were also inspired by the idea of the cabins being an open-to-all social gathering place. We wanted the design to enhance the social interaction and the user’s experience of the landscape.”

“Many new cabins, often with a big footprint, have been built over the last 20-30 years. This is not a sustainable development and has led to privatizing and building down huge areas of previously untouched nature in Norway. The day-trip cabin project has a completely different approach based on minimal footprint and foundations, use of sustainable materials and solar panels, and the idea that a cabin can be shared.”

So, while at first glance, the image is one of exclusive Scandi-pure design, Feste’s starting point is as magnanimous as Norway’s long history of social democracy. David tells us, “To prove the point further, you could fit all 25 day-trip cabins onto one standard newbuild cabin plot. Giving all people in society access to nature and these cabins is, in our view, a positive, more sustainable way forward. Also, constructing a cabin out in the wild with traditional machinery and building methods can be harmful and result in lasting alterations to the surrounding landscape. The modular construction of the day-trip cabins allows them to be prefabricated off-site and transported to the plot with a helicopter. No access roads for heavy machinery have to be built to the various locations.”

Framed in dark stained wood with a full light wood interior, it has seating for up to 15 people and solar panels on the roof to allow for general lighting and the necessary charging of phones today. We’d still recommend you keep the phone in your backpack and charge a digital camera instead for those mind-calming views. A small library space is also included around a stove, while outside you’ll find a covered wooden bench in a recessed nook.

Feste Cabins

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Feste Cabins

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Feste Cabins

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Feste Cabins

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Feste Cabins

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Canada has vast areas of unspoiled nature in common with Norway, and we even feel a spiritual kinship. When we raised the export question, David said: ”As designers, we are keen to develop our micro cabin portfolio further and would love to bring our experience from this project out into the world. Canada and Norway have many similarities, specifically regarding the love of nature and breathtaking landscapes. Should the opportunity arise for a similar project in Canada, we’d love to make that happen!” Local and national politicians and developers might be reading this article, and if not, share it or start a petition.

To broaden the appeal of a project like Feste’s cabin, we’d love to mention another new Scandinavian design that fits a further development to a tee (the Canadian Day Tripper?). Startup design studio Nordconcept has developed a perfect kitchenette for micro houses, that would fit the aesthetic and materiality of Feste’s zen cabin.

With a dark minimalist look, it is a curated solution in a format and size where the alternatives are basic and flimsy at best. Nordconcept has made a distilled essence of a kitchen without compromising on quality. It’s an aesthetic that would be a perfect fit in any minimalist cabin from Feste, or the growing trend of mobile micro-houses. This utilitarian chic with a Nordic twist includes a small integrated fridge from German Grundig sub-brand Beko, a sink, and an Electrolux induction hob. All are supplied on a single pallet in a one-box plug-and-play package with an ultra-compact width of 3.8 feet.