A low-impact modern cabin in Sweden | Schlyter / Gezelius
This one-of-a-kind cabin sits among rock outcrops in a forest just southwest of Stockholm, Sweden. Architect Camilla Schlyter of Schlyter / Gezelius Arkitektkontor designed the modern cabin with a tapered profile and angled end walls, making it look somewhat like boat left high and dry in the woods.
An important goal of the project was to have a low impact on the natural environment. With that in mind, the cabin was positioned so as to minimize site work while using the natural topography to provide shelter from the wind and still have good access to sunlight.
To optimize the use of materials, the architect used digital design tools to size each wood member, providing the needed strength without oversizing. The digital files were fed into a computer-controlled mill that custom cut the lumber to the required dimensions. That may have resulted in a higher cost for the lumber but would generate savings by eliminating on-site cutting and keeping waste to a minimum.
The 60 m2 (646 ft2) floor plan provides two bedrooms on the main level plus a loft overlooking the open-plan living space. The loft is far from claustrophobic, having a full-height ceiling and featuring a large picture window that even provides a view of the tree tops from the sitting area below. Despite the cabin’s fairly small size, it has a generous sense of space thanks in part to a floor plan that includes long diagonal sightlines. The foldaway glass wall also helps, allowing the living area to flow out onto a wood patio shaded by a retractable fabric awning.
The architect also tried to minimize the aesthetic impact of the cabin. The corners are rounded to soften the cabin’s angular form. Its vertical larch cladding was cut in various profiles to create a bark-like textured surface that would blend into the forest, especially once the new wood weathers to gray.
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