HE T i ec ER IAN AM p V S O EG RE C W D S DI OR GE N TA T CO m he
Buen Gruppen is constantly looking for improvements to their popular, traditional models. These cabins were developed for the period 2015-2017.
Reinventing the Norwegian cabin dream Buen Gruppen’s quality cabins have shaped Norwegian identities and expectations for almost 50 years. Ever since the entrepreneur Asbjørn Buen sketched his first designs, the company has been setting the standard while trying to listen to and learn from its own customers. For CEO Gunnar Aarhus, virtual reality is the natural next step. By Eirik Elvevold | Photos: Buen Gruppen
If you are not yet familiar with ‘the Norwegian cabin dream’, you still have much to learn about the country’s culture. Norwegians simply adore their cabins, and many see them as an important investment in the future. “Some Norwegians even invest more money in their cabin than in their own house,” explains Gunnar Aarhus, CEO at Buen Gruppen. Ever since the late 1960s, Buen Cabins have been offering trusted solutions for everyone dreaming of their own unique getaway close to nature. It all began when entrepreneur Asbjørn Buen started producing modern, functional cabins 92 | Issue 95 | December 2016
with design elements from the Viking Age and Norwegian fairy tales. “We still sell the popular model Storodde, which Asbjørn Buen sketched already in the early ‘70s. His iconic design was the first ever with ‘oppstue’ – a second-floor living room with balcony – which can now be seen all across Norway. If Buen had done the same research and development today, we would definitely call it innovation,” argues Aarhus.
Location is key – also for cabins Today, almost half a century later, Buen Gruppen is well established in Norway
with a regional presence in all the most attractive destinations. “Location is often the number one factor, so we have to be available everywhere. People already know where they want the cabin. They feel a sense of social belonging in a certain area. Maybe they have friends or family there. Driving distance from home is essential. Our job is to make a good deal for them in that specific place,” says Aarhus. Buen Gruppen is also present in Sweden, which has a different market with distinct customer demand. “In the popular ski destination Branäs in Sweden, we wanted to offer a more cost-effective model without compromising on quality. The solution was a stroke of Swedish perfectionism,” says Aarhus, who thinks the right location is paramount for those seeking a solid investment object. “It really determines how much you can get back in the second-hand market. That’s