Stepped concrete roof creates seaside viewpoint atop Norwegian retreat by Lund Hagem

| 16 comments

This small seaside holiday home by Norwegian studio Lund Hagem nestles against a cliff, and features a stepped concrete roof that doubles as a viewing platform (+ slideshow).

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem
Photograph by Ivar Kvaal

Designed as a summer residence for one of the Oslo studio's founding partners, the 30-square-metre retreat sits on a rocky site in Sandefjord on Norway's south-east coast.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem
Photograph by Ivar Kvaal

Wedged between weather-beaten boulders double its height, Cabin Knapphullet is protected from extreme weather conditions. Its wall are glazed, but it is sheltered beneath a chunky concrete roof.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem

"The project began as an idea for how to utilise a naturally sheltered area surrounded by large rocks and dense vegetation," said the architects.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem
Photograph by Ivar Kvaal

"The new building has a distinctive free-spanning roof," they added. "It folds down to the ground, creating a ramp up to a viewing platform connecting to the upper cliff."



The roof slopes up from the ground and angles to join the rock face. Steps cast into the sloping plane lead up to a flat surface at the top, which is framed by slender balustrades so as not to obstruct the views.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem
Photograph by Ivar Kvaal

"The idea developed to create a way to climb up from this shelter to see the panoramic view over the sea, which led to the characteristic shape of the roof: a stepped ramp leads up from the terrain to the roof," said the architects.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem

A matching concrete patio fits around the rocky outcrops and provides a sheltered outdoor area with an open fire. This area is accessed from the north of the site via a meandering trail that runs through a wooded area.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem

A concrete bench extends along one side of the patio and through a glass wall into the small residence, which also has concrete floors and is warmed by a wood-burning stove.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem

The ceiling is covered with slender strips of basket-woven oak. Some walls are made with sawn oak, but the majority are made of glass to open up sea views.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem

An oak sleeping platform is suspended from the ceiling, above the small living space and a bathroom at ground level. This elevated sleeping arrangement, alongside a basement, helps to make the most of the building's small footprint.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem

Lund Hagem was set up in 1990 and is directed by five partners: Svein Lund, Einar Hagem, Mette Røsbekk, Per Suul and Kristine Strøm-Gundersen. The studio previously won a competition to design a library in Oslo.

Photography is by Kim Müller of Lund Hagem, unless stated otherwise.

Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem
Site plan – click for larger image
Cabin Knapphullet by Lund Hagem
Section – click for larger image
  • Natalia

    This is one of those places I’d like to live in. Splendid piece of architecture that is so well blended into the landscape.

  • Antoine

    I may be wrong but it seems the wood-lace ceiling is much too close to the chimney pipe. I would hate to hear this gorgeous house has burned down.

    • Thomas

      You actually think they didn’t consider things like that? Really?! The chimney pipe is insulated and doesn’t get very warm on the outside.

    • jewsrapebabys

      Gawd this comment is too silly. I’m going to ignore it, no offence.

  • jewsrapebabys

    I build shite like this all the time. I’m cool like that.

    • Leo Moriarty

      Quite the moniker there.

      • jewsrapebabys

        Thanks .

  • Leo Moriarty

    Suddenly I love architecture again!

  • Amazing building!

  • Jonathan Tuffin

    Fantastic.

  • Guest

    The wood-lace ceiling is there to save heads banging on concrete. Form over function, once again, and certainly nothing even remotely special.

  • Concerned Citizen

    “Stepped ramp” is quite the oxymoron. Actually, it’s more like ramped steps. Aside from the weak attempt at a basket weave pattern, the building is pretty nice. Too bad there’s not a set of floor plans.

  • Thomas

    Some images shows a railing on top of the roof and some do not. Pictures had to been taken on different occasions.

  • Leo

    I love the ceiling and the shape of this house.

  • Fode lamine Camara

    I adore this piece of architecture 👏

  • Dardo

    Beautiful house. Even so, this project destroys, invades and privatises the landscape of the Norwegian fjords.