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Tis' the Season

Tis the season! And what better way to get into the holiday spirit than to explore some “Holiday Architecture”. You may be thinking “how on earth do you quantify something as ‘holiday architecture’”? Great question! We pulled together examples of architecture that we find not only cozy and warm, but also somewhere you may find “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” and “jack frost” right outside the window. Perhaps a great fireplace for Santa to slide down and halls that are just calling out to be decked.

Find some of our favorite examples below!


Designed for idyllic Hokkaido in Japan, the YEZO is a retreat that uses its dramatic landscape and an experimental design approach to create a sanctuary in nature. The YEZO’s overall design is a fusion of both aesthetics and algorithms, optimized for fabrication from one single mold to minimize ecological impact and reduce manufacturing cost and delivery time. It features a unique curved roof that not only creates a spacious interior but even provides a channel for the central chimney while creating a small terrace/skylight in the process. The wooden roof shell structure, clad with regional black slate, consists of sustainable GluLam (glue-laminated) timber beams suspended from a central concrete chimney. “YEZO’s curved GluLam beams are carefully shaped to operate in pure tension throughout, resulting in weight and material reductions of 90% compared to straight beams”, say Kristof and Julien, the designers behind the award-winning retreat. The YEZO Retreat is a winner of the Golden Pin Design Award for the year 2020.

Kivajarvi Resort

Studio Puisto, a sustainable interior design studio based in Finland, recently debuted the first prototype of cabins soon to be part of a larger hospitality project called Kivijärvi Resort. The resort’s first completed cabin is called Niliaitta, which refers to the traditional storage structure built at the end of a high pillar, used by the Sámi people to store food and equipment, keeping it safe from the grasp of hungry or curious wildlife. In order to immerse guests of Kivijärvi Resort in the elements of nature as safely, but also as close as possible, Studio Puisto installed a floor-to-ceiling window that stands some distance from the cabin’s deep gable roof. From Niliaitta’s front-facing window, guests enjoy the most dominant landscapes as the cabin’s location was purposefully selected to offer the most unobstructed views of Finland’s forest and nearby body of water. The cabin itself is painted twilight black to disappear into the darkness come night, but the warm, wooden panels that line Niliaitta’s interiors provide a cozy refuge that glows with relaxed, ambient lighting.

Split View Mountain Lodge

The Split View Mountain Lodge is a holiday home near the village of Geilo, Norway. The main volume splits out to form additional annexes that frame individual views of the surrounding mountains.

Accessed via the lower level of the house, an ascending staircase leads up to the main living quarters comprising a kitchen, dining area and living room that are all capped by a complicated ceiling of pitched planes, with highlight of the house being the split living and dining rooms that boast magnificent mountain views through their glass walls. The open plan quality of the kitchen that links the two other spaces means that whilst family members are in the kitchen, they can remain connected to other members in the dining and living areas simultaneously. This clever aspect of the design facilitates contact instead of cutting off members of the family from one another when in different spaces of the house.

Undoubtedly the heart of the house, the spacious kitchen features a beautiful central glass fibre and reinforced concrete counter that has been cantilevered into the centre of the space and anchored by an inviting two-sided fireplace at the other end. Steps lead off to the separate dining area and living room, where a suspended fireplace provides the ideal situ for curling up on the sofa while gazing out at the restful natural surroundings. Like the interiors of the Knarvik Church, the clean lines of the horizontal timber panes create long broad movement and drive the eye outside through the glass to the mountains.

Fordypningsrommet Fleinvær - The Arctic Hideaway

This remote archipelago north of Norway has no shops, cars, or noise—but is home to Fordypningsrommet, an eco-friendly hideaway with nine unique timber structures. The creator of the unusual resort is owner Håvard Lund, a Norwegian musician and composer who grew up in the area and dreamed of bringing people closer to the awe-inspiring landscape. TYIN Architects and acclaimed architect Sami Rental led the design for the collection of cabins, all clad in sustainable Kebony wood and elevated on angled steel feet to minimize landscape impact.

Weary city dwellers can find serenity in this array of cabins on the Norwegian archipelago of Fleinvær, where the Northern Lights make regular appearances.

Take in the Northern Lights on the Norwegian archipelago of Fleinvær, where Fordypningsrommet has four unique sleeping cabins for rent, along with other structures that house a kitchen, bath, sauna, and studio. It’s the perfect getaway for a small group, as you can rent the property (and nine structures) for a week at $4,275.

Check out some more examples below!

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