Quite possibly one of the most unique building projects that MEDITE SMARTPLY has been involved in for a long time, the Savalen Hotel and Spa’s life-sized gingerbread house in the Norwegian mountains sets a precedent for creativity and effervescent fun – no matter the time of year.
Nestled alongside one of Eastern Norway’s stunning lakes, amidst a landscape that could have inspired a Tolkien novel, the now famous gingerbread house reflects the vivacious nature of Savalen, and caters to those with a keen sense of adventure. For 70% of the year, this scenic part of the world is draped in glistening snow, transforming it into a winter wonderland. With temperatures averaging between -6.8 and 0 degrees Celsius, it is the perfect place for the magical gingerbread house.
The most magic element, however, might just be that this good-enough-to-eat masterpiece is actually uses MEDITE TRYCOYA EXTREME (MTX) for its outer decoration.
The bracing climate proved to be the perfect opportunity for the revolutionary outdoor MDF panel to showcase its unique capabilities. Savalen’s Managing Director Per Morten Hektoen had been searching for the perfect materials to bring this project to life, and eventually found them on recommendation from Norwegian wholesalers, Fritzøe Engros AS.
Seventy panels of 18mm thickness MTX were used, chosen for their moisture resistance, durability and stability. As the panels can be finished in a variety of different colours and textures, they were an obvious decision to give the structure that all important, ‘biscuit-beautiful’ finish.
MTX panels are known for their outstanding ability to retain their shape and consistency when faced with wet and temperature-changing conditions, allowing them to be used where previously only materials such as concrete, plastics or metals could be, as well as being quick and easy to install.
It also was important that a wood-based panel be used for this project to set an example and a high standard for environmental product use. Norway has been a pioneering country for environmental sustainability over the last decade and more. In using a material that will have the lowest environmental impact compared to concrete, steel, vinyl siding tile, fibre cement siding or stucco, Savalen continue to uphold this standard.
MTX is guaranteed to last up to 50 years in external environments, and untreated, it is also recyclable when it comes to the end of its life. It produces less solid waste both during its manufacture and on site. Executive Director Maren Hernes, of carpenters Historiske Mobler, who worked on the MTX panels explained: “It would have taken much longer and would have cost considerably more to manufacture the decorations from other materials. It was also very easy to work with; like regular MDF, but denser and much more durable, making it ideal for our winters.”
This allowed Savalen to very quickly get back to doing what it does best: creating adventure. “Our goal is to create a real adventure destination here,” said Per Morten Hektoen, “This was our first project with MTX, and it will be surely not the last.”
The finished building is 366 square metres in size, 12 meters high, with three floors including a tower, where a lounge overlooks the picturesque winter scenes below. There are 14 bedrooms and a large social kitchen with seating capacity for 28 people.
Please don’t despair the lack of actual gingerbread.
Photo: Geir Olsen, courtesy of Per Morten Hekoen and Savalen Hotel and Spa.