Smaller footprint houses such as mountain cabins can provide valuable lessons in eco-friendly design, construction innovation, and eco-friendly materials. Anyone who has faced the challenges of limited living space will find inspiration in this selection of the latest trends in environmentally sensitive, small-scale home design. Most of the projects prove that that small-scale efficiency, as well as beautiful, thoughtful design, can overcome the apparent constraints of a small footprint.
Each home in these inspiring blog is beautiful on the outside and stunning insight. Each combines interesting aesthetics with the energy efficiency principles and appreciation for the surrounding environment and locally sources materials.
Whistler Cabin / Scott & Scott Architects
Built as a weekend retreat for a family of snowboarders the cabin is situated on a steeply sloping rock bluff in a quiet residential area north of Whistler village.
The structure consists of an internally exposed frame of locally sourced douglas fir rough sawn lumber of conventional size with solid strip structural decking which sits on the concrete base anchored into the bedrock. The lumber joinery has been designed and engineered to utilize a simple repeated lapped joint at the floor and roof connections. The lap is reversed outward to allow for window dormers at the stair, bunk room and kitchen.
The materials are locally harvested and quarried. The exterior is clad in red cedar shakes which will weather to the tone of the surrounding rock, the interior cabinetry was site built by the carpenters with construction grade rotary cut plywood and the counters were fabricated from marble from the Hisnet Inlet quarry located on Vancouver Island.
Cabin at Femunden / Aslak Haanshuus Arkitekter
The project is located on the shores of the lake Femunden, half an hour's drive south of the World Heritage Site mining town Røros. The site lies right on the edge of Femundsmarka National Park, which is part of the largest continuous wilderness areas in Southern Scandinavia.
The project consists of the two old buildings, and a new addition. The new volume is connected to the old buildings through the use of the same traditional construction method, and using timber of the same dimensions. The three volumes are connected by the elongated roof, professing that they all belong together in the new entity.
The roofing consists of a combination of regular corrugated steel, and translucent corrugated roofing panels in the same dimension. The translucent roofing panels are placed between the indoor volumes, to give downlight to the covered outdoor areas. They are used in correlation to the doors and windows as well, minimizing loss of indoor lighting due to shadows cast by the overhanging eaves.
Split View Mountain Lodge / Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter
The holiday home is located near the village Geilo, a popular skiing destination in the valley Hallingdal. The volume consists of the main body, housing mostly bedrooms, which follow the natural contours of the landscape and splits into two living zones. This shift in program and use of multiple levels allows the building to adapt to the slope of the site.
The mountain lodge is a continuation of Norwegian building traditions in form and materiality, perched beautifully within its landscape and responding to its context.
Alpine Cabin / Scott & Scott Architects
Vancouver architects Scott & Scott were hired to complete of a remote snowboard cabin located in an alpine powder haven on the North end of Vancouver Island.
The structure consists of douglas fir columns, rough sawn fir lumber, and planned fir interior finish. The construction approach was determined to avoid machine excavation, to withstand the annual snowfall, to resist the dominant winds and to build in a manner which elevates the building above the height of the accumulated snow on the ground. The materials are left in their raw form and finish. The exterior is clad in cedar which has weathered to the tone of the surrounding forest.
The 100 sqm cabin is without electricity and is heated by a wood stove. Water is collected from a local source and carried in. The cabin is located at 1300m above sea level and is directly accessible by gravel road five months of the year. During the other months, equipment and materials are carried by toboggan to the site.
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