The Ljubljana, Slovenia-based OFIS Architects recently completed a unique cabin, which could serve as a tiny dwelling, a vacation home, housing for researchers, or even a shelter. It’s located near Ljubljana Castle, which is on a hill overlooking the city. It is the result of a joint effort between the companies Permiz, C+C, C28 and AKT Living Unit.
The project is aptly named Living Unit on Ljubljana Castle and features a flexible wooden shell that makes it easy to install it on nearly any kind of terrain. It’s also easy to transport pretty much anywhere. The basic version of the cabin is made up of three wooden volumes, which are designed to be stacked on top of each other. The cabin measures 14.7 by 8.2 by 8.8 ft (4.5 by 2.5 by 2.7 m), but since it is modular it can be expanded in size both vertically and horizontally. No foundation is required, but it does need to be anchored into place.
The volumes seem to be quite tiny, and the home features a kitchen and dining area on the ground floor, a sleeping area on the first floor and a lounge on the top floor, which is accessible by a ladder. The kitchen features a sink and stove, and a storage unit, which can also be used as a ladder leads up to the next floor. The bathroom is next to the sleeping area, though it is not pictured here.
The volumes are quite tiny, but they are very functional, and solar panels, a composting toilet and a water filtration system would all be easily installed, then this cabin would be completely independent of the grid.
The Living Unit on Ljubljana Castle is currently a temporary library, and is open to the public from 5.30-9.30 PM every day through August 14. There is no word yet on pricing, though this will likely be released soon.
The recently unveiled Gapahuk cabin was designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta and the leisure home builder Rindalshytter. It can be equipped to operate completely independently of the grid, and comes in a prefabricated package, meaning it can be built virtually anywhere.
The Gapahuk is a single story structure and has 968 sq ft (90 sq m) of interior floorspace. The interior is well-laid out, with most of the space taken up by a large open plan living/dining area and kitchen. The home also features three bedrooms, a spacious bathroom with a shower and toilet, and another separate toilet. The home also features a large covered outdoor deck, and plenty of storage areas, both inside and out.
Judging from the renders, the finished home will feature ample glazing, while most of the interior and exterior surfaces will be clad in wood. While the basic version is intended to be hooked up to the grid, it would also be easy to install the necessary tech to take if off-grid. according to the firm, the cabin’s sloping roof is ideal for installing solar panels, while it also protects from both the sun and from high winds. The home is heated by a wood burning stove, while it would probably be relatively simple to install a composting toilet, and a couple of water tanks and a water filtration system. Since the home was designed in Norway, it is probably safe to assume it offers comfortable living conditions even in the harshest climates.
The Gapahuk is probably the closest thing you can get to a professionally designed, high-end prefab home at the moment, and as such also carries a hefty price tag. It costs roughly $156,600 (1350,000 NOK) which does not include construction, or any of the off-grid features.
Not long ago, a team of architecture students from the Colorado Building Workshop built 14 cozy small cabins in Leadville, Colorado. The cabins were prefabricated, and will serve as dormitories of the Colorado Outward Bound School. The cabins are called Colorado Outward Bound Micro Cabins and were built on a rather steep hill in the Lodgepole Pine forest.
In order to shorten the amount of on-site construction time needed, the cabins were prefabricated in Denver and then shipped to the build site, where they were assembled in just three weeks.
The cabins are quite simple. Each of them rests on top of concrete piles, while they are designed in a way that offers an outdoor/indoor area which can be used for storing sports gear like kayaks, bikes and so on. The frame of the home also has a secondary roof, which is reinforced so as to be able to withstand heavy winter snow loads, which are common in the area. The exterior cladding of the cabins is hot-rolled steel and this material was used because it needs very little maintenance.
The cabins measure from 140 to 200 sq ft (13 to 18 sq m). The interior is clad in birch plywood. The actual layouts are slightly different cabin to cabin, but they all feature pull-down beds and plenty of storage. The cabins have no bathrooms or kitchens, which is rather a shame. There is a bathhouse nearby that the guests can use though.
They have started building seven more such cabins, while they have also already hired a local architecture firm to design a new staff lodge for the school. This building will have bathrooms, a laundry, a dining hall and communal space, and will offer those staying at the cabins all the necessary facilities. They plan to complete the project by 2018.