Every time I’ve been to TromsÃ¸, Norway, the night sky has either been aswirl with snowflakes or rippling with the magical green banners of the northern lights, and either way it makes a new project from Dutch Docklands perfectly appropriate. Scheduled to be built by 2017, the Krystall Hotel is shaped like a snowflake, will have 86 rooms, sport a glass roof, and float atop sea water in one of the many fjords near TromsÃ¸.
Although these images are just renderings, Krystall is more than just a flight of fancy. Dutch Docklands is a leader in building floating structures, including a far larger project in the Maldives. And architect Koen Olthuis says floating buildings are a glimpse of the post-global warming world.
“I am a Dutchman, and for me, Holland is an artificial country,” he told Reuters. “It is all fake. We live below sea level and it takes too much effort and money to keep the pumps working 24 hours a day. We need to learn to live with it rather than fight it. We should let the water come back, and then build on it.”
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.