On Puget Sound, activist and filmmaker Anna Hoover collaborated with Les Eerkes, a principal at Olson Kundig Architects, on a 693-square-foot studio in the woods. Using freecycled materials and a six-footed foundation to rein in construction costs, Hoover and Eerkes created a distinctive structure that treads lightly on the land, with a dramatically cantilevered sleeping loft that minimizes its footprint.
Those seeking isolation and inspiration to tackle their work need look no further—this tiny cabin, a minimalist cube set against a picturesque background, forms a studio free of distraction (except maybe that view). The structure was built in Newfoundland, Canada by Saunders Architecture.
This 191-square-foot cabin near Vancouver and its glass facades "forces you to engage with the bigger landscape," architect Tom Kundig says, but it seals up tight when its owner is away. The unfinished steel cladding slides over the windows, turning it into a protected bunker.
Prefabricated, flat-packed, and put together on-site with a little love and elbow grease, the Mini House is a modern Swedish shed (or friggebod) that reimagines architecture as product. Conceived by Jonas Wagell for his master’s thesis at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design in Stockholm, the small structure’s simple, livable design lacks a kitchen or bath, although those—along with a sauna or solar-power system—can be added on as modular units.
In Maine, three small pavilions connected by a deck form a summer retreat that balances privacy with a panoramic view—all in less than 900 square feet. Sited parallel to each other, the two autonomous bedroom cabins frame perspectival views of the surrounding landscape. Exteriors of all three structures feature mitered corners and cross-laminated timber panels, all nailed by hand.
Fine craftsmanship underlies this collaboration between Zecc Architects and designer Roel van Norel in the quiet forest north of Utrecht. The petite cabin showcases a traditional gabled roof with a modern shutter system.
Given a difficult site in the Colorado Rockies, a local design-build team installed rugged, tiny prefab dwellings for a wilderness and camping program. The Outward Bound cabins' steel frames lift the structures above a three-foot snowpack while supporting corrugated-steel "snow roofs."