Now, during the holiday week, is a good time to dream about rest and relaxation in your own rural getaway. So here’s a short list of architecturally suggestive cabins.
One. The prefab in the trees by Swedish firm Cyrén & Cyrén gives new meaning
to lodging, not to mention lodge-pole pines. It’s a bedroom unit in the Tree Hotel, located in Harrads, near Sweden’s Lule River, and looks like it came from a galaxy far far away (photo above courtesy Inhabitat, photo below courtesy Dezeen). A catwalk leads to the
rooftop entrance (one of the other suspended rooms is a mirror cube). Improbable and delightful — I want to go there! Presumably a gentle breeze will rock you to sleep, but if you hear a chain saw it may be time to check out.
Two. Continuing the rustic theme, here’s a cabin designed for Hans Liberg by Piet Hein Eek that uses tree trunks as a way of
logs pile up and the hut disappears — well, almost. “Ceci n’est pas un woodpile,” as Duchamp might say. I like the way the design takes the idea of the duck blind and runs with it (quite far away!). Images courtesy Andrew Michler on Inhabitat and also Dornob. For more images see Thomas Mayer Archive.
pit defined by gabion (rock filled cages) walls on the master suite end, and with another deck and more gabions on the living room end, as if the structure is growing out of or into the land itself (photo courtesy Mocoloco.) This simple serene progression from public to private and vice versa is evocative: home as a short architectural hike…
Four. This urbane floating home on Seattle’s Lake Union by Vandeventer & Carlander Architects puts the main entertaining spaces — organized as a series of framed openings within an elegant
box — on the upper level. The living room veranda is carved out of the rectangular volume to sharpen sight lines across the water. It also cantilevers over the lower floor to shelter the deck off the master bedroom. The design shows how to swim with geometry (photo courtesy Karmatrendz).
Five. “Packed But Never Shipped” might be a good name for this clever cabin by Olson Kundig Architects.
When the window flaps — resembling warehouse pallets — are down they form the surrounding deck platforms so the tiny structure can expand (images courtesy Olson Kundig). When the vacation ends, the platforms fold up for security and the house is effectively crated, to await the next weekend when it can be unpacked and played with again. Take care of your toys and they will last longer!
These design approaches appeal to me because they are all about serious play: taking inspiration from settings, structure, and materials to fashion something unique and memorable. Use them — along with the many serious and seriously playful schemes in our Cottage Plans Collection like 479-1 by architects Peter Brachvogel and Stella Carosso (below)
or 517-1 by architect Jonathan Feldman (below);
or 452-2 by architect David Wright (below)