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Snorre Stinessen | Manshausen Sea Cabins

Steve King

A sea cabin to contemplate the Northern Lights.


The Sea Cabins designed by Snorre Stinessen are micro-dwellings conceived to experience the nature at its best. Though sheltered, the perception of the surrounding landscape is overwhelming.

The cabins are in Manhausen, a small island part of the fjords of North Norway, far off the beaten path. The small fishing village of Nordskot is the only urban center nearby. The four small buildings were built next to some preexisting ones which form a complex once part of the old trading post and now mainly devoted to leisure activities, such as kayaking, diving, cycling, climbing and summer and winter hiking. The Sea Cabins use minimal form, a wrap around, frameless glass living room, and strategic site placement to carefully direct visual attention back and forth between the architecture and environment.

This short film comes out from the filmmaker’s personal experience in this place. He was eager to go to Norway to see the Northern Lights. Searching for an accommodation, he found the Sea Cabins and was fascinated by the place and the architecture. He resided there once, then returned the following season, this time invited by the owner to shoot the interiors of those special micro-dwellings. During his second trip, he also met the architect who introduced him to the main concept behind the design. The discussion was stimulating. Inspired by Norway’s slam hit Slow TV, that transmits slow live footage taken from a camera placed on a locomotive, the author produced the short film shot by drone so as to best depict atmosphere the architect wanted to create with his project. Sea Cabins are conceived as tools that gently manoeuver us out to the very edge of our perception, and bring us face to face with nature.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: Stinessen Arkitektur
Mentioned project: Manshausen Sea Cabins
Project location: Manshausen, Norway

Norway 2016
Duration: 3'57''