Skip to main content

About Us

I think that a building can be the inspiration for something new and unique, at least that is what happened after seeing Cargo Architect’s Villa Boreale in Charlevoix, QC, Canada.

Villa Boreale’s Scandinavian inspiration, with clean lines and materials in their raw appearance, pale tones and natural textures such as wood, concrete, and the color white, conveyed peace and contentment the first time I saw it. The black metal cladding creates an impressive contrast that highlights the smooth matte finish of the steel and the natural grain of the Eastern White Cedar exterior.

Little did I know at the time, that those images of the Villa Boreale would lead to so much more. Travels to Petite-Rivière-St-François, meetings and dinners with Charles-Bernard Gagnon, Architect and owner of CARGO Architect, whose dinner conversations helped to evolve the property and the brand.

Villa Boreale inspired a simple thought: How could we bring a design like that to Ohio and where?

Our where led us to the Hocking Hills, but finding the right property was elusive. John Mitchell and Emily Maiden of The Studio of John B. Mitchell, who we would later collaborate with on this project, informed us about a plot of 42 Acres on Kalklosch Road in the Hocking Hills. This location, just two miles from Cedar Falls and four Miles from Old Man’s Cave, was stunning. From prairie vistas as you enter to mature forested hillsides, with creek runs feeding Cedar Falls to quiet bottomland wildflower fields and a pine forest.

As the land and villas came together, our journey had just begun. In retrospect, the evolution of the project was perfect. Villa Prairie inspired Villa Creek and Villa Pine, while new elements from all three Villas combined to capture Villa Rock. Our project’s evolution was heavily influenced by our Scandinavian-inspired design, encompassing everything from our name “Hugga” to the incorporation of saunas and cold showers.

Our 5th Villa is the land itself. Inspired by Frederick Law Olmsted’s work at Biltmore Estates and scientific forestry, our goal is to be stewards of the land and to blend our Villas seamlessly with it. From the creation of over two miles of hiking trails to reforestation and creek restoration our goal is to intentionally enhance the land while supporting its natural ecology. Over the course of the project, we have created sanctuaries for bats, owls, and birds to improve habitat within our property and enhance our guests’ stay on the property.

We hope you enjoy our Villas and their surroundings at Hugga in the Hills.