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Ever take a winter hike and midway wish you had a place to warm up? Norway has solved that quagmire with Varden, a unique hiking rest stop on Storfjellet mountain in Northern Norway. Commissioned by the Norwegian Trekking Association and designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Spinn Arkitekter, the 150-square-foot shelter was built with sustainable timber and offers unrivaled panoramic views of neighboring mountains thanks to a floor-to-ceiling window at one end. Opened to the public in January of this year, Varden gives hikers a place to recharge while ascending the mountain’s rocky terrain.
The structure’s exterior is constructed of 77 pieces of hexagon-shaped wood that fit together like a jig-saw puzzle, creating a dome-shaped silhouette. The structure takes its surroundings into consideration, utilizing the texture and color of the cabin’s facade to seamlessly blend in with the natural landscape. Using computer-simulations, the architecture company ensured Varden could withstand extreme weather conditions, including strong winds and snowstorms. Inside the cabin, hikers are welcomed with benches and a wood-burning stove. The simple design keeps the focus on what makes the cabin so special: its stunning Arctic Circle location. While Varden was created as a respite for winter hikers, it's open year-round. Check out more photos of Varden, courtesy of the Norwegian Trekking Association, below.