Located on the island of Sandhornøya in Norway, Nature House is a 3-story cob house built within a glass geodesic dome. It is home to Ingrid and Benjamin Hjertefølger and their four children. Living in the Arctic Circle might sound less than appealing, but when you see the Hjertefølger’s incredible home, you might think otherwise.
Nature House was uniquely designed with the harsh climate in mind. This area of Norway experiences extreme cold, wind, and three months of the year without sunshine. The geodesic dome enables the family to grow food a full 5 months longer than they would be able to otherwise, as well as providing passive solar heat. Within the dome, they grow an abundance of vegetables, herbs, and even fruits.
The sustainability of Nature House goes far beyond growing food. In an interview with Inhabitat, the Hjertefølgers said they use all their greywater and blackwater to water and fertilize their plants. They also compost their food scraps. And as with most cob homes, this one is incredibly energy-efficient, with the earthen material helping to retain heat in winter. Supplemental heat is provided by a wood stove and energy from solar panels.
The Hjertefølgers placed the Solardome geodesic dome on their property first to provide shelter while they built their home. They constructed the beautiful cob house out of sand, clay, and other organic building materials. It has 5 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge area, a kitchen, a dining room, and a garage. The warm, inviting interior sharply contrasts the Artic’s frigid climate.
“The feeling we get as we walk into this house is something different from walking into any other house. The atmosphere is unique. The house has a calmness; I can almost hear the stillness. It is hard to explain. But it would have been impossible getting this feeling from a house someone else has planned and built for us, or a house with corners and straight lines.” – Hjertefølger Via Inhabitat
One can’t help but notice the incredible landscape surrounding this home, and of course, the dome provides an ideal year-round 360-degree window. Can you imagine admiring the Northern Lights from this vantage point? The Hjertefølgers get to see them on a regular basis.
“Our house is amazing – we have been blown away by the magnificence of the dome and the life it is helping us to lead. We have all worked really hard to create our eco-friendly home, our dream, and our little sustainable bubble that supports our eco values and that will allow our family to grow up in a beautiful, ecological and healthy environment. We are excited about the years ahead.” – Hjertefølger Via Inhabitat
We are big fans of cob homes and geodesic dome greenhouses, so to see them combined into one eco-friendly package is pretty inspiring! Be sure to follow the Hjertefølgers on Instagram to take a peek inside life off grid in their gorgeous home. See the video for Ingrid and Benjamin’s Ted Talk about their home under a dome.
Images by Ingrid Hjertefølger