Sustainable & Offgrid

Home Architecture Sustainable & Offgrid

19 Beautiful Forest Cabins That Will Make You Wish You Were A Hobbit

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!

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Someone definitely wrote a novel here.
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Just stop with that sun perfectly filtering through the trees.
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I guess Fall is when you take pictures of your cabin.forest_house_4

Lights, camera, cabin!forest_house_5

No cabin is complete without a creepy, overgrown driveway.forest_house_6

Hobbit party.
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If there isn’t a German living in there, I’ll give you a thousand dollars (I won’t, actually).

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Every forest cabin needs a pool. Wait, what?
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For the modernly inclined forest dweller.house_forest_

Abe Lincoln would be proud.house_forest_2

No swing? You call that a porch?
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Pretty run of the mill, right? Get it? house_forest_9

I got nothing.

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Be one with the forest. house_forest_12

Ghost face cabin.house_forest_13

Use the forest, Luke. Use the forest.house_forest_18

Did I already use my ‘mill’ pun?house_forest_19

Peeping Tom’s cabin.
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All that’s missing is an ogre and a talking donkey.

It’s Alive! This Home Uses Compost For Climate Control

A collection of crafty and clever students at Japan’s Waseda University have developed a way to utilize the natural fermentation process of straw to heat and cool your home. On the interior, pre-fabricated acrylic boxes are stuffed full of common straw. The straw is left to ferment and compost, naturally giving off a staggering amount of heat – up to 86 degrees Fahrenheit!

The design of the home is fairly simple – meant to be more of a shell for experimentation than a display of architectural ingenuity. It serves its purpose well enough to showcase this nontraditional building technology, and the exterior is also clad in straw, showcasing its use as an effective weather barrier.

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The fermentation is a result of a low-odor composting technique called “bokashi” (meaning “fermented organic matter”). The process happens over a four week period, so the real downside to this type of system would be the maintenance. If anything, the project is an example of what is possible using natural processes in building tech.fermenting straw2 The acrylic boxes are placed strategically throughout the interior so as to provide each space with the appropriate amount of heat.fermenting straw3 In the summer, the dormant straw that has already been composed acts as a natural insulator – keeping the home passively cool. They will even release moisture, which acts as a natural cooling mechanism. fermenting straw4 This floor plan shows where the boxes are hung on the interior walls.fermenting straw5

Designed by Masaki Ogasawara, Keisuke Tsukada and Erika Mikami, the students hope the prototype ushers in new and interesting investigations into natural building technologies. Their “Recipe to Live” house is certainly an example of the possibilities as we move towards a move eco-conscious society.

Images by Waseda University.

This Luxury Bunker Will Make Any Prepper/Survivalist Jealous

When most folks build a “bug-out” shelter for the approaching end-of-days scenario, they take a fairly straightforward approach. Dig a hole, bury a container, hide lots of water, and just enough supplies to survive. Not this guy. He wanted a more permanent residence, where his family and a few others could carry on existing in comfort. So he got in touch with Al’s Army Navy Store to arrange the purchase and installation of several 32′ x 10′ corrugated tubes that cost around $60k each.

The foundation for the underground bunker is shown prior to being buried underground.

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An inconspicuous square opens to reveal the entrance to this underground domain.

 

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When the zombies come or the sky begins to fall just climb down the ladder to gain entrance into this hidden home.

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Welcome to your new home! You are now 20′ underground.

luxury-bunker-07Stacked bunk beds offer a place to catch some zz’s while the world falls apart overhead.

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The kiddos don’t seem to mind the prospect of their new digs one bit. We’ll see how well they adapt once they learn there’s no exiting.

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Demonstrating the under storage beneath the beds…

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This news anchor takes a tour of the home, and exits through the secret escape hatch.

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There’s a working kitchen, though we don’t see any stovetop. We’re thinking Sunday mornings without pancakes might not exist in the post-apocalyptic world…

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A diner-style table provides a place to gather and share stories of zombie killings and fending off roaming vagrants.

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A bunch of stinky teenagers living in tight quarters would be enough to drive most people back up the escape hatch to face reality. Luckily there’s a full bathroom, with a 2-in-1 combo washer to ensure your clothes stay fresh.

luxury-bunker-16I hope they have a stockpile of DVDs somewhere!

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The master bedroom seems nice. Does she come with it?

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These images show the layout of the secret bunker, accessible through the main home.

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The Atlas Survival Shelter comes complete with bunk beds that have under-the-lid storage, an escape hatch for emergency attacks, mudrooms with a lockable laser cut interior door, countertops, a kitchen with a sink, low voltage electric lights, electric outlets and a toilet. If that doesn’t impress you much, you can also go for the optional flatscreen TV, shortwave radios, camera surveillance, 300-5,000 gallon water tanks, 100-500 gallon fuel storage tanks, DVD player, power-generating exercise bicycle, red oak cabinets and beds, solar panels, restroom facility or an electric toilet with tank. Sounds like you’ll have just about everything needed to stay happy, healthy, and safe!

Tiny EcoCapsule Packed With Sustainable Technology Aims To Reshape Offgrid Living

This egg-shaped capsule may look like something from outer space, but it’s being developed here on planet earth by Bratislava’s Nice Architects. The concept brings a micro shelter with an impressive array of sustainable technology that includes solar power, rainwater collection and filtration, and wind power. They plan to reveal a prototype in the next month, and make it available for sale later this year.

Inside you’ll find a cozy quarters of just 86 square feet. Designed to be easily transported, it can serve as a tiny house or office, and includes a toilet and shower, kitchenette, work and dining area, folding bed and storage both inside and out. Perhaps most exciting is the built-in technology it comes with, including a 28 square foot solar array and a silent 750 watt wind turbine.

Details are still fuzzy, though we expect to learn more once the firm makes its reveal on May 28 at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna.

Sleek Forest Home Where The Forest Is Actually In The Home

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.
casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-1 Two trees frame the entry of the mostly concrete home. The harsh material was used to provide ironic contrast between natural and man-made.casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-2 casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-6 The home spill down the natural slope of the hillside as a stone path melts together with low brush.casa-corallo-modern-house-architecture-8 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.
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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.

This Dome-Shaped Solar Home Floats on Water And Is 98% Recyclable

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.

This Cabin Is Missing Something All Buildings Have, And It Rocks Because Of It

Who needs doors, right? That’s exactly what Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects said when he designed this pair of isolated structures off the coast of New Zealand. The cabins are completely open air and can be entered via a large square opening that steps you down into the main living area. The interiors are simple and clean, utilizing the warmth of native wood to tie the spaces to the adjacent landscape.

There is modesty and serenity in the way the buildings are anchored to the hillside. A quick glance would make them seem as if they were dark boulders jutting up and out of the grassy plains that carpet the surrounding countryside. They become a part of the iconic terrain rather than fight to visually overpower it. This harmony is echoed by the openness that results from having no doors. Protection might be limited, but the visceral experience is not.

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15 Outlandish Homes Pushing The Limits Of Creativity

The world is a strange and beautiful place. Each of these 15 homes proves that we are not limited by conventional thought when it comes to designing and creating something truly unique. Using what we can find, what we know, and what we think we can learn, the world can become just a little bit stranger, and a lot more beautiful.

15A house on a rock in a lake in the fog in a forest.

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This Unique “Ultra Green” Building Is Covered In A Green-Wall Exoskeleton

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 Ultimate Cold Climate Solar Cabin Of Our Dreams