The Fjordic Diorama

Designer pods hover above the forest floors - so wonderfully simple, the dark interiors frame nothing but nature in its purist form - no wonder Ex-Machina was filmed here

Intro

Juvet Landscape Hotel is a series of wooden designer dens by Jensen & Skodvin Architects, that sit in total submersion of Norway's north-western nature hotspot, Gudbrandsjuvet.

Scattered throughout the terrain along the river-gorge banks with minimum intervention of the land, each house has large plate glass walls, and an individualistic, private view, hence the no-curtain policy. Landscapes are cleverly accentuated by the inky interior timbered walls, treated with oil containing black pigments.

The striking architectural lines contrast so fabulously with the carpet of green lushness, taming the harshness of the magnificent Alstad wilderness beyond, it is no wonder Juvet was the movie set for the cult film, Ex-Machina.

The Juvet sits as camouflaged wooden structures made from pine, set upon massive steel rods drilled into the rock bed with vertical timbers sitting in conformity with the trunks of birch, aspen and pine.

The scene is cleverly balanced by the solid robustness of the original aged farmhouse and former cowshed that provide the communal focal points for all meals – heavy and deeply rooted in the hardships of times past – the contrast is sublime. This original hideaway is also topped by a small subterranean wet spa and sun decks.

Activity junkies, as well as those who like to just take it all in, are well catered for here – especially when getting tips from the maverick owner, Knut (a sort of Norwegian Indiana Jones) who happily guides guests into the solitude of the fjords or shares his favourite ski coordinates.

The Aficionados - Design Hotel in the wilderness, Juvet Hotel, Norway

Activity junkies as well as those who like to just take it all in are well catered for here – especially when getting tips from the maverick owner, Knut (a sort of Norwegian Indiana Jones) who happily guides guests into the solitude of the fjords or shares his favourite ski coordinates. 

Rooms

The rooms come as seven standalone cubes on stilts, with glass walls that offer each space a striking view of the valley, the forest, the courtyard or the dramatic river below.

Every ‘Landscape’ hut has one or two walls that are entirely built in glass. Through careful orientation every room gets its own view onto a piece of the landscape, changing with the season, the weather, or the time of day. No curtains are a unique feature of the huts, and as no room is overlooked, the wide-open spaces of nature are utterly private.

The two Bird Houses are created in a minimalist architectural style, constructed in the manner of a traditional Norwegian log house food store. Clinging to the steep slopes and enveloped thickly in trees, the structures are not only architectural wonders, but they quite literally lift you up, widening your viewpoints and horizons.

Inside there is a spartan atmosphere which lends itself beautifully to a minimalist aesthetic and begs the question of what we need to achieve a sense of well-being. Large windows let daylight flood in whilst smaller lookout windows allow mini framed views of nature. Perhaps no bigger than 8sqm your focus is magnetically pulled to the outside, where the detail of the natural world is transfixing.

White Line Hotels - Design Hotel in the wilderness, Juvet Hotel, Norway
Gather around an aged farmhouse table that is so old it could tell tales itself - sourced produce from the larder of the surrounding fisheries and farms, including the most delicious smoked salmon ever, are served in club style when all the residents come together with the host - totally original

Foodie

Living here in the past was an harsh affair, and the owner Knut takes food seriously - without being wasteful, ever mindful that the ingredients are pure and that this land was previously a farmhouse.  

The breakfast affair is relatively simple and honest - the highlight being the most delicious smoked salmon ever - matched with the traditional art of scrambled eggs - not so simple after all.  

In the evenings, dinner is served at precisely 8pm around a large table in the former cow barn - guests mingle before being seated at the large communal table where a menu is served - all sourced naturally and prepared in the farmhouse style.

It is hearty and tasty and certainly brings home a taste of Norway and if you are luck and in season, they serve the wonderfully sweet strawberries famed from the Valldal Valley. 

Film

Owner

Knut Slinning is a maverick at heart, a proud Norwegian and a man with a clear vision.  

Despite the overwhelming acclaim for his hotel project, Knut remains firmly with boots on his beloved Norwegian ground. Being around him is inspiring.  

He has compelling respect for nature, locality and originality. And apart from his die-hard passion for skiing, he has poured his heart into this place, his tales and tips of where to go and what to experience will keep you riveted to your seat. 

He has nurtured his place in simplicity and rooted it just like him, into this fairytale landscape that surrounds.  

Location

Juvet Landscape Hotel is located in a forested watery scene in the small rural hamlet of Alstad, part of the Valldal Valley. This is on the northwest coast of Norway, approx. 90 minutes driving from Ålesund, you can also take the longer scenic drive over from Oslo.  

Close by are the wonderful western fjords and the Sunnmøre Alps, Juvet is about one hour from Åndalsnes via Trollstigen and one hour from Geiranger.

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