Nomad Cabin and Nomad Den by Out of the Valley - Dwell

2022-06-15 11:22:16 By : Ms. Sunny Di

In September 2021, Granary Square in London’s King Cross was looking unusually outdoorsy. The plaza, flanked by warehouses and high-rise apartment buildings, played host to the first-ever Planted Cities, a sustainable design showcase that invited visitors to interact with more than 50 eco-conscious companies.

In one installation called Sleeping in Nature, UK design firm Out of the Valley brought in tiny off-grid cabins that provided event goers with a miniature escape from the grid.

"We brought the essence of cabin culture and pared-back, wild luxury to the city," says Rupert McKelvie, director of Out of the Valley. "We wanted to bring people back to the essence of what it means to sleep close to the elements in simple yet beautifully designed spaces."

The Sleeping in Nature installation will be part of the annual Planted event. In the interim, the cabins will move around to different events throughout the summer as part of an ongoing talks program hosted by the founders of Planted, Debs Spencer and Sam Peters.

Out of the Valley creates buildings, furniture, and interiors that celebrate the beauty and durability of wood.

The installation comprised two cabins—the Nomad Cabin and the Nomad Den—set amid a wildflower garden designed by Farlam & Chandler. Visitors sat in the garden while engaging with a talks program centered around biophilic design, nature regeneration, and living with a lighter carbon footprint. "It acted as a place of tranquillity within the heart of the Planted Cities design show," explains McKelvie.

Now, the cabins are set to return to the next Planted event, which will take place April 30 to May 2  at Stourhead, a country estate in Wiltshire operated by the National Trust.

Outdoor furniture settings arranged around the cabins amidst the wildflower garden offered an oasis in the middle of the city for people to relax with drinks and engage with the programme of talks organised by Planted.

The Out of the Valley Nomad range is a collection of prefabricated, movable wooden cabins and saunas. Each one is customisable and adaptable, allowing clients to choose details to suit their needs, whether it’s a home office or a tiny home. 

The Nomad Den is designed as a cross between a glamping tent and a cabin, with a timber frame and cladding, and canvas roof and window shade.

Sustainably built, the off-grid Nomad Cabin is a perfect complement to the event. It’s made of Douglas fir and larch sourced near Out of the Valley’s workshop, and insulated with hemp, a fast-growing plant with a minimal carbon footprint. The timbers are finished with natural oils and paints, and a small solar array is fixed to the roof.

The furniture was supplied by British design brand Another Country, including the Hardy Armchair in oak with natural upholstery, and the Gallon Side Table in ash.

The furniture from Another Country was used both inside and outside, showcasing its diversity.

Its counterpart, the Nomad Den, is constructed from oak and canvas. Both cabins feature beds from Naturalmat, and chairs and tables by British design brand Another Country. As tiny as the spaces are, the furnishings maintain a high level of comfort.

The Out of the Valley team are experts in timber construction, and have a deep knowledge of off-grid technologies and the principles of biophilic design—think natural materials and gently rounded details, such as this porthole window. The buildings and furniture by the brand utilise modern construction techniques as well as a respect for traditional craftsmanship.  

The beds in the cabins were supplied by Naturalmat, which creates mattresses and beds from 100% natural and Fair Trade materials.

As with all the stands and installations at Planted, the materials that made up the infrastructure of the Sleeping in Nature installation were reused, repurposed or recycled; many of them will make an appearance at the event again this year, or elsewhere as part of another Planted talks program. As a result of this sustainable approach, waste was significantly reduced when compared with similar design events.

After the Planted exhibition in 2021, the movable cabins were packed up and will be reused for an upcoming talks programme and the Planted 2022 exhibition.

McKelvie looks back on the showcase fondly, but from a different perspective. "My favorite part was sitting in the cabin at night watching the square come to life with thousands of people," he says. Wherever this year’s event lands, it’s bound to be a buzzy, outdoorsy scene.

The wildflower garden by Farlam & Chandler featured flexible containers by BACSAC filled with perennials and ornamental grasses designed to evoke the spirit of a late summer meadow. Materials and transport were kept to a minimum and it was essential to find a home for everything after the event to minimise waste. 

The next Planted event is scheduled for May 2022, and will be held in a soon-to-be-announced destination in the heart of the English countryside.

More from Out of the Valley:

This Cozy Cabin in the British Countryside Has Everything You Need for a Relaxing Weekend

Architect of Record: Out of the Valley / @outofthevalley_ltd

Furniture: Another Country & Naturalmat

Garden Design: Farlam & Chandler

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