“La Arboleda” retreat cabin | Reclaimed Space
The owners of this one-of-a-kind small dwelling wanted a place to get away and relax on their ranch in the central Texas hill country. They had an ideal building site shaded by a grove of oak trees on a knoll overlooking the ranch. With very specific ideas for what they wanted from the structure, they asked Reclaimed Space to turn their ideas into reality.
Reclaimed Space has carved out a niche for itself by building small modular dwellings using building materials that they salvage from old barns and houses slated for demolition. Founder Tracen Gardner started Reclaimed Space after receiving accolades for the small dwelling he built for himself from recycled materials. Reclaimed Space prefabricates most of their structures, including this one, at their facility in Austin, but they will also build on site.
La Arboleda provides 640 ft2 (59.5 m2) of inside floor space plus a generous porch. The rectangular floor plan puts a bedroom at one end, an open living/dining/kitchen space at the other, and the bathroom in between. The full-length porch shades the south-facing windows in summer but still allows for passive solar heating in winter. One end is screened for buggy evenings. A covered porch is a great way to expand the living area of a small house at relatively little cost. To get the most use out of a porch it should have space for a table and chairs with room for people to move around easily.
All the finish materials were reclaimed from turn of the century farmhouses and barns, giving La Arboleda the rich patina of age and a connection to the past. Barnwood was used on the exterior, along with corrugated tin on the areas most susceptible to damage from the harsh sun. The kitchen cabinetry was also handmade from barnwood.
Longleaf pine shiplap boards were applied to the inside walls and given a whitewash finish. One bedroom wall features a colorful patchwork of faded and weathered paint using lumber from a variety of sources. More corrugated tin was used on the ceilings throughout the cabin.
Large windows and doors on opposite sides allow cooling winds to flow through the living area and bedroom. When there is no wind, a high-efficiency ductless minisplit air conditioner can take over. The ductless systems are more efficient than ducted air conditioners, especially in a well-insulated house, and much more efficient than the typical window unit.
Enjoy the photos and have a great weekend!
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Photographs by Joseph Pettyjohn, courtesy of Reclaimed Space.
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