Where two worlds collide. A masterful mix of American adventure and Nordic architecture; the Troll Hus by Caper Mork-Ulnes is a mountain retreat like no other.
Residing upon a gentle slope on the edge of one of North California’s most popular ski resorts, Sugar Bowl, the Troll Hus sits at an altitude of 2,000km.
Serving up an alternative idea of paradise, in comparison to the typical sunny imagery that is usually associated with California, Mork-Ulnes uses the local climate as the vocal point of design. In doing so, the house is elevated on a concrete plinth, balanced by two supporting concrete pillars. The elevated design acts as a safety measure to the house, partnered with the sloped roof to avoid snow or icicles causing damage to the property and visitors.
However, working within snowbound seasons comes with its own restrictions; as when creating the Troll Hus all vehicles had to be left on the highway, with guests needing a sledge of snowcat to reach the property. The logistical complications did not distract Mork-Ulnes, as the house exists as a stunning example of modern architecture.
Taking focus of the property is the long-stretching south side of the structure, where all the main living areas are located. Alongside wooden decks that reach the volumes of each floor, the design is defined by floor-to-ceiling openings that frame the adjacent forest and nearby creek. Communal living areas are stationed on the top floor, alongside the master bedroom, whilst all other bedrooms and bathrooms exist on the first floor, connected by an open staircase that pierces through all levels to present a dynamic focus of design. Complimented with two skylights that flood the property with natural light, highlighting the oak timber ceiling’s sculptural angles.
The minimal design focus is upheld through the implementation of a simple material palette throughout, defined by mild and natural colours to create a light and contemporary interior. Outside, the timber exterior is coated in a durable tar, a traditional Norwegian technique, to help protect the wooden façade throughout the seasons.