Exploring harmony: Snohetta’s TraceLess cottages blend nature with innovation

Snohetta - Setesdal, Norway

Renown Norwegian architectural firm Snohetta has recently revealed plans for an eco-retreat that redefines the relationship between architecture and nature. The TraceLess eco-resort comprises of a series of tiny cottages that are inspired by traditional building techniques.
The first pilot project, located near Otrosåsen at Hovden in Setesdal, Norway, features four cottages and a technical unit. The cabins are supported by piled stones and interconnected by elevated footbridges. The project is designed to minimize impact to the existing pristine landscape, while boasting modern off-grid solutions.

Unlike conventional construction methods that involve blasting for foundations, Snohetta utilizes a centuries-old local technique, using piled stones, which significantly reduces the impact on the landscape and supports reuse of materials.
Designed for simplicity and togetherness, the compact 6 x 6 meters cottages prioritize basic needs, accommodating up to five people each. Inspired by traditional hunting and fishing huts, the layouts focus on communal spaces and are named Åre and Ete, emphasizing the joy of shared meals.
The cottages promote self-sufficiency by harvesting solar energy and rainwater. Snohetta employs water-saving systems, recycling gray water from showers and handwashing. Additionally, each cottage features a combined PV and solar collector system to convert solar energy into heat and electricity.

The TraceLess concept encourages residents to be mindful of their resource consumption, fostering a deeper connection with the environment. Snohetta envisions these cottages as an inspiration for sustainable living, where simplicity and harmony with nature redefine the traditional cabin experience.


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