The 72h cabin was a project initiated by Visit Sweden as a way of showing the positive effect Swedish nature has on its visitors. Most of us are familiar with the calming effect nature can have but this project actually proved that staying in a building like the 72 hour cabin, in the middle of nature, improve health.
The name stems from the amount of time the test subjects, five stressed out people from different countries, spent in them. After 72 hours the experienced stress levels of the subjects had sunk by 70 per cent, blood pressure was much lower, and all performed better in tests measuring creativity and intelligence.
In the summer of 2017 five cabins were made – all for the project that took place on the Island Henriksholm in Dalsland (one cabin for each participant). These cabins are still standing on the Island and they have been receiving hundreds of people from all over the world in the last few years. More 72 hour cabins have been placed in other parts of Dalsland and just like the original five they are giving their guests a chance to fully experience the beautiful nature of the county.
Since there have been so many requests from people who like to have a cabin of their own, for personal use as well as commercial, the architect and manufacturer developed a way of packaging the cabins so that they easily can be shipped and re-assembled. All cabins are handmade and assemble by skilled wood carpenters from building company Fridh och Hell’s Bygg AB in Bengtsfors and designed by Jeanna Berger, JeanArch AB.
The idea of the 72 hour Cabin is to create a physical place for “forest bathing”, a comfortable and shielding place to indulge in nature. A bed dominates the interior space as a manifestation of the word rest. The floor that the bed stands on is elevated by the same pillars that carry the ceiling – truss lifting the inhabitants up from all worries of the ground below and taking them a bit closer to heaven.
The pillars are made of wood and can be cut on site in order to adapt to basically any terrain. The need for foundation is minimal so that when the cabins are moved there will be no damage to the ground – it will be easy for the natural environment to retake the site. Not a single rock or tree have been removed to make room for the cabins on Henriksholm, everything was done to make the least impact on the natural environment. The cabins are carefully placed to benefit the most from the different environments they are in. Even though all cabins are based on the same design the experience in each differ.
The goal for each cabin is to enhance the nature it placed in. Keeping the design of the cabins clean and simple was vital – from a construction point of view but also for the people who would be staying in them. If they were to stress down it was key to simplify the design as much as possible, so we removed all that wasn’t necessary. Living is these cabins is a bit similar to tenting, the biggest difference is that the inhabitants are provided with a comfortable bed and a view. There is no water, nor electricity – you are completely of the grid and surrounded by nature.
Real glass would have been too fragile to use in the project, both to transport to the remote island and to live under in the woods. What if a branch would fall on the roof? Disastrous. Instead, Lexan is used, which is a polycarbonate resin thermoplastic and has the ability to undergo significant deformation without breaking. It has an impact strength 250 times greater than that of glass.
To avoid the “greenhouse effect” the cabins are very well ventilated, mainly by the gaps between the boards but on really sunny days the gap between the roof and wall can be made wider thanks to the flexibility of the lexan glass. When warm air is exiting through the roof, cold air from underneath the cabin moves into the interior space through the gaps between the floorboards. Of course, the most efficient way of ventilating the cabins is to open the large double doors.
The structure and floor is Norway Spruce through and through, just the occasional screw here and there. It is the same kind of tree that grows all around the cabins on the original site. The wood is locally produced and since screws are used instead of nails it is easy to disassemble a cabin in order to move it, make adaption or to re-use the material.
Facade cladding: Spruce, Locally produced
Flooring: Spruce, Locally produced
Doors: Spruce, Locally produced
Interior lighting: Stearin candles and sunlight
Interior furniture: Custom-made bedframe by a local carpenter (Robert Fridh)