068 - Hytta

Caroline Mellberg

Helsinki, Finland



Laurina C. Felius

Trondheim, Norway



Hytta is a compact and smart design that is mainly a shelter, but at the same time also much more than just a shelter. Hytta is a place to focus, to relax, to dream, to create, but most of all to enjoy living in co-existence with nature.

Before you enter the cabin, a small entrance area serves as a wind lock, and provides storage space for outdoor clothing, shoes and skis. The main room is divided into three areas on different heights. On the ground floor there is a seating area with access to the stove and to a rainwater catching and filtering system that provides fresh water that is safe to drink. The first stairs leads to a raised living space that can be transformed from a sunny reading area to a guest bed. There are two south facing windows that naturally light up the room, and provide a beautiful view towards the forest. Under this platform there is space for technical equipment related to the PV panels. The second stairs leads to the loft with a double bed. This area is sheltered from the main living area, but at the same time easily accessible. There is a window above the bed that ensures stargazing in the nights.

Several passive strategies were used to lower the energy demand of the building. South facing windows provide natural daylight and passive solar gain, therefore reducing the need for electrical lighting and for heating. The angle of the upper south wall is tilted for optimal production by the PV-panels. The PV-panels generate enough electricity to cover for electrical lighting and small appliances (e.g. chargers). All windows can be opened and this creates a natural airflow, which can cool down the cabin if needed. A wood stove in combination with a well-insulated thermal envelope ensures that the indoor climate is comfortable in the winter and in the nights. Lastly the water filtering system filters the rainwater in a natural way, without using electricity, so that it is safe to drink. When there is not enough rain, this system can be refilled manually from outside. The system ends in a sink and increases the level of comfort in the cabin.

The materials used for the cabin are mostly low-emission and natural materials. The structure is a timber frame, insulated with a material that is a combination of denim and cotton fibres. This is a non-toxic, natural material and is 100% recyclable. The flooring and internal cladding is certified wood and can be locally sourced. The outside cladding of the walls is wooden shingles, similar to the traditional architecture. On the roof, the shingles are metal to ensure that the rainwater arriving in the filtering system is cleaner and thus easier to filter. The costs for this cabin are approximately 9000$. Some of the low-emission materials are more expensive than the conventional option (e.g. insulation), but this design proves that it is possible to build a low-budget and high-quality cabin that is environmentally friendly!

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