No noise, no hustle and bustle, no stress. Just peace and quiet. The noise of the sea and fresh air: a good 200 km north of the Arctic Circle lies the Norwegian island of Manshausen, nestling among many other skerries. The Lofoten Islands, home port of the Hurtigruten fleet, lie across from the West Fjord of Manshausen just a stone’s throw away. Exactly the right island, thought the Norwegian polar adventurer Børge Ousland. In 2010 he made the spontaneous decision to buy Manshausen in order to show as many people as possible the uniqueness of the world beyond the Arctic Circle. He himself has caught the “ice bug”: in addition to innumerable expeditions into the perpetual ice, solo expeditions to both the North and South Poles make him the current leading explorer of the polar regions (National Geographic Adventure, Feb. 2006).
Børge Ousland has implemented his plan on Manshausen systematically. The focus of the concept, architecture and interior design was on the single main performer – Nature. Inside the cabins, vast panorama windows let visitors experience the presence of nature. The Northern Lights and the Midnight Sun are the actors on the natural stage, and the warm and comfortable living areas are the box seats. After an active day in a kayak, snorkeling or fishing or after a ski tour through the solitude of the island hills, the cabin is like a protective shell: a transparent cocoon offering shelter.
The architect Snorre Stinessen from Tromsø set store by local building materials. The structure of the houses consists of solid pine beams, the external facades are clad in larch and, in the interior, the dominant material is birch as a symbol of nordic design. A number of international design-led manufacturers, including Duravit AG, supplied the interior fittings: washbasins, toilets and bathroom furniture from the DuraStyle range are to be found in the bathrooms of all the cabins.