written by:
January 20, 2016
With a small footprint and modest provisions, these tiny, wooden dwellings get the job done.
hardiepanel and charred wood exterior on compact cabin

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. 

Originally appeared in An Eco-Friendly Compact Cabin in Washington
1 / 7
Rock the Shack: The Architecture of Cabins, Cocoons and Hide-Outs

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. 

Originally appeared in Rock the Shack: Cabin Love
2 / 7
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 in

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. 

Courtesy of 
Tom Bies
Originally appeared in First-Class Cabins
3 / 7
Photo by Andy Liffner

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.

Originally appeared in First-Class Cabins
4 / 7
Vinalhaven cabins frame views of the landscape.

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. 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in A Cluster of Cabins in a Former Quarry Makes a Simple Vacation Escape
5 / 7
Handmade Cabin Traditional Exterior, The Netherlands

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. 

Courtesy of 
Roel van Norel
Originally appeared in This Light-Filled Cabin in the Netherlands Is Completely Made by Hand
6 / 7
Modern Colorado prefab cabin by Outward Bound made of steel and birch plywood interior

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." 

Photo by 
Originally appeared in Tiny Prefab Cabins Upgrade a Rugged Camping Site in Colorado
7 / 7
hardiepanel and charred wood exterior on compact cabin

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. 

Photo by Benjamin Benschneider.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016