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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) Mountain lodge in Norway by Helen & Hard AS designed using ArchiCAD and FormZ

August 4th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Helen & Hard

The new Pulpit Rock mountain lodge, the winning design competition entry in 2004, accommodates twenty-eight guest rooms, a café, a restaurant and a conference room. The lodge is situated at the trail-head leading up to The Pulpit Rock, the sheer cliff cantilevering over the Lysefjord.

Images Courtesy Emile Ashley

  • Architect: Helen & Hard AS
  • Name of the project: Pulpit Rock (Preikestolen) Mountain lodge
  • Location: Strand, Norway
  • Client: Stavanger Trekking Association
  • Consultants: Wörle Sparowitz Ingenieure, Graz, Austria
  • Photographers: Emile Ashley, Jiri Havran, Sune Eriksen
  • Software used: ArchiCAD and FormZ

Images Courtesy Sune Eriksen

  • Contractors: Holz100 Norge AS (Massive timber elenments)
  • Built-up area: 1260m2
  • Cost of project: Approx 3,6 mill EURO
  • Inception: 2004
  • Completion: November2008
  • Program: Accomodation 28 rooms, 100 seat restaurant, conference
  • Project height: 3 floors, 11 m
  • Structure: Massive timber construction in walls, floors and roof

Images Courtesy Jiri Havran

Site conditions/placement
The lodge’s placement and massing is well fitted into the immediate environment with its undulating terrain, its roof profile drawn from adjacent peaks. The volume is furthermore bent around a rock outcropping creating a gesture to the main entrance. It has an access path going around the hill to the access plateu in front of the entrance.

The roof is overhanging at different places to cover outdoorspaces and terraces which are connected to the restaurant and conference room.

Side View ( Images Courtesy Jiri Havran)

The client, Stavanger Turistforening (Stavanger Trekking Association), responding to the rapidly increasing amount of tourists visiting the Pulpit Rock (currently around 120 000 people yearly), realised that the old cabin (built in 1947) did not meet modern standards. The client’s brief was to provide a modest building with appropriate accommodation and upgraded bathroom facilities. The building should have universal access and be truly environmentally friendly.

Images Courtesy Sune Eriksen

Construction & materials
The construction system consists of 32 wooden ribs of massive timber elements placed at a distance of 2,8m. Every wall, floor and roof is built up with the same prefabricated system. The ribs are doubled between the guestrooms so that the floor elements can be suspended between, while also preventing lateral sound transmission. The ribs containing the public rooms are hollowed out to create more space. The ribs are oriented towards the views.

Images Courtesy Jiri Havran

The massive timber is Holz100. This system was chosen for the construction because of its completely pure wooden system without any need for glue or nails. The timber panels, consisting of different layers of wood are only held together by wooden dowels, which swell after being injected. This means that the wood retains almost all of its performative qualities according to load-carrying capacity and directionality.



The chief engineering challenge facing the ribs was the large span over the public spaces; the café and restaurant.  This was solved by turning the build-up of the elements inside out, exposing the diagonal layers which then could extend into the room at a higher level and form a unique spatial geometry for the public rooms. At the same time, the procedure revealed unique construction principle of Holz100 and the wooden materials very intrinsic qualities.


A compact form with large openings towards the south, facing the view. Materials used are few, but “pure”. Wood, stone, steel, glass and concrete. All the materials used are proven emission free and non toxic. Massive timber walls are insulated with recycled newspapers on the outside, covered with a wood fiber plate and cladding in pine core wood. The total thickness of the walls are 60cm.

Passive house windows with an U-value of 0,7.

The energy supply is heated water in the stone floors provided by a heat exchanger that gains energy from the nearby lake.

Plan 01

Plan 02

Plan 03

Preikestolen Integration

Section A-A

Section E-E

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Categories: ArchiCAD, FormZ, Mixed use, Restaurant

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