Forest cabins hold a special place in many of our hearts. There is a calm serenity, a quiet solitude, a comforting familiarity that accompanies a rustic old cottage. For your viewing pleasure, here is a collection of 19 such structures, all neatly tucked into their surrounding canopy of elms, oaks, maples and pines. Enjoy!
Someone definitely wrote a novel here.
Just stop with that sun perfectly filtering through the trees.
I guess Fall is when you take pictures of your cabin.
Lights, camera, cabin!
No cabin is complete without a creepy, overgrown driveway.
If there isn’t a German living in there, I’ll give you a thousand dollars (I won’t, actually).
Every forest cabin needs a pool. Wait, what?
For the modernly inclined forest dweller.
Abe Lincoln would be proud.
No swing? You call that a porch?
Pretty run of the mill, right? Get it?
I got nothing.
Be one with the forest.
Ghost face cabin.
Use the forest, Luke. Use the forest.
Did I already use my ‘mill’ pun?
Peeping Tom’s cabin.
All that’s missing is an ogre and a talking donkey.
There comes a time in most of our lives when you need to switch gears, or maybe even swap your entire car; change your job, your relationship, or your outlook. That’s what Elora Hardy did when she left her established career in the NY fashion scene to build bamboo houses in Indonesia.
Elora is a resident of Bali and spent the past five years working with bamboo construction, a sustainable resource that she believes could be used more readily. And when you see what she built, you might agree. Inspired by her father, who used bamboo in the campus buildings he helped create, she has long known the benefits of this highly available resource.
Bamboo doesn’t just look good. It grows incredibly fast, and has a strength-to-weight ratio that rivals steel. Like many woods, it does have one weakness, which comes in the form of damage from insects and moisture. Otherwise, when treated, it can serve as an integral component of building that last’s a lifetime. To learn more about these magnificent homes and Elora’s vision, check out her TED talk video, below.
A fully recyclable home that has the potential for self-sufficiency, environmental and functional adaptability, and out of this world curb appeal was the dream that eventually gave way to the Waternest 100. Designed by London-based EcoFloLife in collaboration with Giancarlo Zema Design Group, this dome-shaped structure can be configured as an office, home, restaurant or exhibition space and is entirely powered by solar panels that are smartly integrated into the convex roof.
The generous 1,000 square foot allow for a multitude of interior uses while never feeling cramped or starved for space. This particular model of a housing application has a kitchen, living and dining areas, two bedrooms and a full bath. A simplified version of the design could even be mass-produced and deployed as relief shelters. When the life-span of the home comes to an end, the materials used for construction are 98% recyclable, making the home as fundamentally eco-friendly as it looks.
Green roofs have plenty to offer. Not only are they architecturally interesting, they have a drastic effect on reducing a building’s carbon footprint. Covering any roof in a thick layer of properly drained vegetation naturally insulates the interior, but also absorbs heat that would typically be reflected back into the sky, preventing all kinds of ecological problems on a large enough scale.
Architects have taken notice, and are beginning to embrace green roofs as a focal point of their designs. Here are 9 green roofs that will knock your socks off (which is good, because no one wants to walk on grass with socks on).
1 | 8 House | Bjark Ingles Group (BIG)
BIG is known for going…well…big! This green roof is no different. The symmetrical shed roofs provide the perfect opportunity for the dual cascading green carpets that meet at an exterior courtyard at the base of the structure. (source)
2 | CR Land Guanganmen Green Tech Showroom | Vector Architects
When a green roof isn’t enough, why no couple it with some green walls? Vector Architects have left no exterior sufrace naked, creating an extruded square shell that naturally protects the interiors from swings in temperature. (source)
3 | California Academy Of Sciences | Renzo Piano
If I didn’t use ‘undulating’ and ‘elegant’ in the same sentence to describe this one I’d have an angry gathering of former architecture professors burning me at the stake (not literally). Mr. Piano is a master of his craft, and this is one of the truly iconic contemporary buildings in the Western Hemisphere. (source)
4 | Marcel Sembat High School | archi5
High school has changed a lot since my day. This beautiful structure is highlighted by the (don’t say undulating…don’t say undulating) faceted curvilinear roof structure (nailed it). (source)
5 | Beijing Capital International Airport | Foster + Partners
In a stroke of perfect irony, visitors to the world’s most industrial, pollutant contributing city are greeted with one of the world’s most sprawling green roof. China is no stranger to environmental paradox, as they are a leader in sustainable development, yet continue to degrade the planet through their bustling industry. (source)
6 | School of Art, Media, and Design | CPG
Two interlocking sloped green roofs wrap around a central public space in this project by Singapore based firm CPG. The roofs are accessilble to visitors, providing a lush carpet to make a picinic and take in a view of the surrounding Nanyang. (source)
7 | Villa Bio | Enric Ruiz-Geli
Spanish architect Enric Ruiz-Geli designed this home intented to reflect the landscape of the area. Even though it’s surrounded by homes that are less-than-camouflage, the green roof acts as a bridge between natural and man-made.(source)
8 | Chicago City Hall | City of Chicago
In 2001, the City of Chicago tasked a team of architects, landscape architects and engineers to design and build a 38,800 square feet of green space. It is an initiative that makes great strides towards covering our cities in well-manicured lawns. (source)
9 | Vancouver Convention Center | LMN + DA with MCM
A lush carpet of green velvet covers this convention center, which sits in a prestigious waterfront site in the heart of downtown Vancouver, BC. The architectural team created a man-made peninsula that mirrors the surrounding landscape. (source)
If you happened upon this little cabin while trekking through the woods, at first you might think it was some sort of portal to another dimension. Located in Bergen, Norway, this interesting abode is the result of a design-build workshop at the School of Architecture. Their aim was to build a unique all-wood cabin using a mixture of techniques borrowed from places like Japan and Norway. While the front door looks like it might be moving at warp speed, the interior shows off a relaxing atmosphere of pure Nordic inspired simplicity.
One wouldn’t think so by looking at it, but this beautiful example of sustainable, affordable design was the brain child of three ambitious architecture grad students. New Zealand natives Ben Mitchell-Anyon, Sally Ogle and Tim Gittos started the venture with the goal of gaining real-life building experience as their education came to a close. I’d say they passed with flying colors.
They worked hard to find an affordable site to build the house, but finding cheap land had a catch – it was at the top of a steep hill. With the help of some dedicated and gracious friends, they were forced to hand carry all materials up the hill in order to get them to the building site. Hands on experience, indeed.
The house itself uses affordable, locally sourced materials and off-the-shelf components in order to remain cost-effective. For example, guard rails are made up of common chain link fence, and gives the home a bargain bin, yet contemporary aesthetic. Most of the finished materials such as the concrete and plywood were left raw, saving construction time and money, as well as reinforcing the industrial-chic framework.
Building a home often means flattening the plot of land set to be developed, effectively destroying what made the site interesting in the first place. However, when trying to design something truly beautiful we find that architecture can only be as good as the land it embraces.
Meet the Casa Corallo by Guatemalan based architecture firm Paz Arquitectura. Rather than uprooting the trees that natively inhabited the building site, they literally designed the home around the natural vegetation. Towering trees flank, loom, and even pierce through the home in a way that blends existing and new in elegant symbiosis.
Two trees frame the entry of the mostly concrete home. The harsh material was used to provide ironic contrast between natural and man-made. The home spill down the natural slope of the hillside as a stone path melts together with low brush. The interiors are highlighted by tree trunks that climb up through the floors. In many cases, the location of the trees dictated the spatial organization.
While the home is large and imposing, the choice to involve the trees so prominently in the design speaks to the sensitivity the architect had towards the land.
Brazilian architecture firm Triptyque have designed an office building in Sao Paolo that not only collects rain water, but utilizes a sophisticated filtration and delivery system to irrigate naturally insulating green walls. A maze-like network of water pipes snake up and down the building’s facades, fitted with misters that provide the living walls with freshly recycled rain water.
The project is an ecological experiment aimed at challenging how society deals with water – how it can be collected, recycled, and redistributed with little need for waste or run-off. In addition to the green wall system, a series of planted roofs further mitigate the structures environmental footprint. When the misting nozzles are on full tilt, the building is enveloped in what appears to be a stationary cloud, reinforcing the issue of water conservation in both function and aesthetic.
In 2010, the unique green features won this office building the ‘Built Environment’ award from the Zumtobel Group.
The American Institute of Architects has announced its 10 Best Green Buildings of 2015. The following structures make a point to champion sustainability and energy conservation without sacrificing cutting-edge design or functionality.
1. The Bullitt Center. Seattle, Washington
This office building, opened on earth day in 2013, is the largest certified Living Building in the United States. Designed by The Miller Hull Partnership, the Bullitt Center features 100% renewable energy, water, and waste-management. The entire shed roof canopy is composed of one large solar panel array.
2. The CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory. Hamilton, Ontario
This LEED Platinum certified laboratory contains 174,300 square feet of research, office and lab space focusing on innovations in material technology. Green features include sun shading on the south facade, green roofs, and renewable energy systems integrated into the building’s exterior shell.
3. Collaborative Life Sciences Building. Portland, Oregon.
ERA Architects and CO Architects collaborated on this LEED Platinum office and research building. The stark grey exterior gives the building a feeling of cleanliness and sterility, something that the integrated building systems exhibit themselves. Stormwater management, green roofs, atrium heat recovery, and low ventilation fume hoods are features that scream sustainability.
photo courtesy Jeremy Bitterman
4. E+ Townhouses. Boston, Massachusetts
The E+ Townhouses were built as prototypes for energy efficient living in affordable housing. The replicable model homes were the brain child of a collaboration between Interface Studio Architects (ISA) and Urbanica Design, and were built under Boston’s Energy Plus (E+) Green Building Program. In the prototype, versatility is shown in how the structures march down the slope of the natural terrain.
photo courtesy Sam Oberter
5. Hughes Warehouse Adaptive Reuse. San Antonio, Texas
Adaptive reuse projects have a prominent role in transitioning into the green era. Overland Partners face-lifted this early 1900’s warehouse was into contemporary studios with state of the art sustainability features. The project features flexible interior spaces and a public courtyard to promote user health and public engagement.
Photo courtesy Dror Baldinger
6. San Antonio Military Medical Center. San Antonio, Texas
“Doing it Bigger” in Texas appears to apply to sustainability as well! RTKL designed this massive complex that focuses on medical research and care for our nation’s military. A enveloping screen traces around the southern facade, protecting the interiors from heat gain while providing ample natural light.
photo Charles Davis Smith
7.New Orleans BioInnovation Center. New Orleans, Louisiana
This 65,000 square foot biotech lab achieved a LEED Gold certification, making it the first of it’s kind in New Orleans. The building features a 3,000 square foot central courtyard is prominently visible from famed Canal Street through the building’s transparent, yet UV protected facade. Designed by Eskew+Dumez+Ripple.
photo courtesy Will Crocker
8. Homes For Adults With Autism. Sonoma, California
LEDDY MAYTUM STACY Architects built four homes in a complex that champions sustainability and energy conservation. Each of the homes is fit with a powerful rooftop solar array, making good use of the persistent California sun. In addition to the homes, the complex boasts a community center, therapy pools, and even an urban garden.
photo courtesy Tim Griffith
9. Sustainable Housing Development. Oakland, California
Why build one sustainable building when you can construct an entire neighborhood? That’s exactly what David Baker Architects had in mind when they designed this complex that contains 60 affordable apartments, 77 attached townhouses and 20 additional apartments. The homes are well insulated and promote passive cooling techniques such as natural ventilation.
photo courtesy Brian Rose
10. University Center – The New School. New York, New York
Famous architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) designed this university that was conceptualized on the platform of combined heat and power systems that were specifically designed for water management. It was enough to afford the building a LEED Gold certification. The facade seen here seamlessly shades glazed openings, providing UV protection and reducing energy consumption.