Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cool Cabins

All pictures from

Browsing some older posts over at Sustainablog (see links at right for the, er, link) I came across this site, Free Cabin Porn. It's got page after page of cabins, shacks, tiny homes, sugar houses, and more to drool over for hours. Beautiful. I've mentioned here about my dream of someday building my own home, often imagining a cob house with a reciprocal roof (a living roof, at that). But so far what I've seen on this site are your more typical sort of cabins, generally wood built; be it log cabin style, boards, or in one case, slab wood. Also featured are more experimental models, made of recycled materials such as shipping containers and such.

I like the idea of a mud house, which allows for some really creative designs, often appearing somewhat as "hobbit houses"; but, I really love the look of wood. Finished or rough, stained or not, there's no other material quite so beautiful to me. My dad was a carpenter, maybe that's part of the explanation, but I'm sure it goes deeper than that. At any rate, looking at these cabins has me thinking a bit more simply about what kind of house I will build for myself.

This example, from Sweden, is nice. I do love the log cabin style, and the living roof is a nice touch too. I'd like one a bit larger than this, and definitely more windows. I require lots of natural light, and would like to have some passive heating features built in as well.

This is closer to my ideal. The logs left round, not squared as in the Swedish one above, as I prefer the more rounded look with chinking. Also, the door not being on the gable end allows for a large porch under the roof overhang. The setting ain't half bad, though this is off limits, being a ranger cabin in Washington's Rainier National park. I'd prefer a better climate for growing veggies anyway; right now I'm leaning towards the foothills somewhere just east of Oregon's Willamette Valley. But, back to the cabins.

This one from Iceland is nice, I like the way it's built into the Earth, which would help regulate the temperature quite well no matter where you are; cooler in summer, warmer in winter. Turf roof also very cool. As a side note, I did not know they had trees in Iceland.

Here is your logger's wet dream; a home built of slabwood. Note the big ass chainsaw, axe, the series of red flannel shirts, the boots, and wood everything. Somehow this exists in Connecticut, which is generally conceived as New York's suburb, but I guess there's still some pockets of Yankee woodsmen in the southern New England woods. Strangely, this is outside of Hartford.

Finally, here is an amazing church in Arkansas, the Thorncrown Chapel, a stunning construction set in a (seemingly) forested location. Almost makes ya want to go to church, right? Definitely moving in the right direction, in terms of a natural spirituality. Of course, I'd probably spend the whole service staring both at the architecture and especially out the windows into the trees, so I might as well skip the middleman and just go hiking, right?


  1. The little chapel is interesting to me because it is such a contrast between man-made structure and nature. The structure, all straight lines and angles, geometry, I find a little at odds with the surroundings. No rose window, arches, flying buttresses. Intersting, but it looks industrial warehouse to me.

  2. While I don't disagree, I think the point of the open, airy walls of the glass structure is to incorporate the forest as a design element, to complement the straight lines of the man made part.

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  4. "Cabin porn" that's a a pretty cool site. I spent about an hour looking at it last night. Makes where I'm living right now seem rather crypt like, like the exact opposite of all the qualities I'm looking for in a home. But its comforting to know there are other options out there, and some of them aren't that expensive. Yeah, I could totally live in a hobbit house. I'll be visiting that site frequently.

    Regarding the chapel, my first instinct was to agree with you, but after reading Baroness' comment, she does make a good point, all the straight lines do seem out of place, giving it more of an industrial feel to it. Its primary asset is all that natural lighting and forest scenery, but I think that same result could be achieved with fewer vertical lines. It actually seems like the skeleton of a skyscraper in the middle of a construction zone, and if you took away all the trees, the building itself would actually look very ugly, at least in my opinion.

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  6. I kind of thought all the struts and pillars were like an interpretation of a forest, in a modernist sort of way, all straight lines. I never much liked modernism, postmodernism even less. Still, I feel it sort of works in that setting.

    I still vastly prefer the old cathedrals of Europe, and churches with rich wood work, which goes to my earlier point about loving wood. The church I grew up going to was pretty cool and had elements of both, maybe I'll talk about that next.

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