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Impermanence is not something most architects push in their promotional literature. But when the government forbids permanent or irremovable structures, the challenge is how to create a formidable building that may one day be removed without a trace.

This was the gauntlet thrown to architecture students from Norway and Mexico, under the leadership of TYIN architects. A group of about 50 people living in Lista, Norway, commissioned TYIN and the students to draw attention to the Lista region. Lista sits on a wild, windswept, and salt-strewn stretch of southern Norway coast. It is rugged with sand dunes and open space. The locals are organizing to boost tourism, in order to stall the economic decline of the area. Hence, the Lyset Paa Lista house.

Since the site is in the middle of ecologically delicate sand dunes, the student/professional collaboration built the house to hover on stilts. No concrete or other permanent footings were allowed. In a 180-degree turn from the design pragmatism of blending a home into the natural environment, the Lyset Paa Lista house is designed to stand out. The contrast of the elevated building in the midst of the open landscape is intended to draw attention to the surroundings, rather than mute the natural and manmade world into one.


“Lyset paa Lista” translates to “light of Lista.”

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Photos by Pasi Aalto

Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.

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