For urbanites dreaming of a summer getaway, we’ve rounded up five little cabins – including designs by JacobsChang, Wee Studio, and Jon Danielsen Aarhus – that make for simple retreats from big city life.
1 Cabin Ustaoset by Jon Danielsen Aarhus
The materials to build this modern escape had to be helicopter-lifted over Norway’s largest national forest, to the site at the foot of Hardangervidda, Europe’s greatest mountain plateau. Perched 3,500 feet above sea level, the magnificent view opportunities informed the two-room rental property’s design. Built to withstand harsh winters, it’s clad in maintenance-free Kebony, and positioned directly facing the wind to prevent snow from piling up at the entrance.
2 ÖÖD Prefab
Measuring less than 200 square feet, these prefabs from Estonian company ÖÖD are intended as modular hotel rooms or other short-term accommodations. Clad on three sides with reflective Mirastar insulated glazing, the units blend right into the landscape. Assembled in just eight hours, they come complete with custom furnishings, adjustable LED lighting, and in-floor heating.
3 Rock House by Cutler Anderson
Carved into the foothills of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, this 800-square-foot retreat offers sweeping views of the rolling landscape, through floor to ceiling windows that wrap the front of the house.
4 Treehouse by Wee Studio
Sited next to a stream at the base of Mount Wuling in Miyun, Beijing, this cabin links twin polyhedronic volumes with a single platform base. Standing atop a series of legs near the water’s edge, it resembles a strange beast, lumbering towards a drink. The project was built after the firm launched a wildly successful crowdfunding initiative to fund the experimental build.
5 Single room cabin by JacobsChang
Hidden in the woods of upstate New York, on a plot with no electricity, running water, or vehicular access, this little getaway is just 360 square feet and a single room. The wood cladding was sourced from pine trees on the site, and blacked with Scandinavian pine tar. Constructed by its owners, along with some weekend help from friends, it was completed for US$20,000.