Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007.
Katherine Martinko is an expert in sustainable living. She holds a degree in English Literature and History from the University of Toronto.
Small spaces can run the gamut from traditional yurts and van and bus conversions to compact micro-apartments that can perform amazing feats of transformation, to stylish tiny houses that live much larger than their petite footprint might suggest. Other subsets of the wide-ranging genre of small spaces include the time-honored cabin in the woods (these can be either rustic or modern in flavor) as well as the ever-whimsical treehouse, which can either be perched high up in a tree, or sit comfortably on stilts.
Of course, a great small space can be a combination of any of these possibilities. In looking to create a fanciful—yet also practical—cabin, Hungarian design firm Hello Wood decided to sit this wooden structure on stilts, giving it the appearance of floating above the ground, much like a treehouse might.
As the designers explain, the idea was to create a treehouse-like cabin that evokes a deeper connection to nature:
Known as the Wauhaus, the first iteration of this 215-square-foot (20-square-meter) cabin appeared as a design competition entry back in 2018. A real version of it has now been built on top of a picturesque hill in Zala County, which is located in the southwestern part of Hungary.
Intended both as a guesthouse and as an extra home office space, the cabin sits on sturdy legs of different lengths, which allows it to have an expansive view of the rolling hills beyond its perch atop a steep hill. The cabin's underside structure is supported by those stilts, which are in turn attached securely to the earth with triple ground screws.
The cabin's width of 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) makes it more spacious than a typical tiny house or shipping container house.
The exterior of the elevated cabin is clad with planks of durable, pest-resistant larch wood, which have weathered to a beautiful silver-gray.
A minimalist wood and metal walkway juts out alongside the cabin to provide access into the dwelling. As one approaches nearer to the door, the walkway widens to become a small outdoor terrace, where one can sit in a chair to enjoy a drink, and contemplate the serene landscape.
As one enters inside from the entrance door flanking the cabin, one is greeted by an open living space lit by a large round window.
This circular window adds an element of playfulness that contrasts with the angularity of the rest of the structure.
The interior of the cabin is lined with pale-colored birch plywood, while the floors are covered with similarly light-colored oak wood flooring.
To help illuminate the interior space naturally, a large set of glazed patio doors at one end of the cabin permits sunlight to come pouring in. Besides letting light in, the designers also add that this glass surface offers some extra beauty for the interior:
At the rear of the cabin, we have a small kitchenette in one corner, while there are full-height sliding birch plywood doors that can glide out of the way to reveal the door to the bathroom, and wardrobe.
The result is a clean, ultra-minimalist aesthetic that is somewhat tempered by the warm textures of the wood flooring and walls.
The designers say the idea behind the Wauhaus is to offer a high-quality and more sustainable alternative for individuals or hospitality providers looking to install an extra office space, or a series of more distinctive guest suites—though there isn't much information on the cost of one of these cabins at the moment. In addition, Hello Wood has realized similar cabin-like projects like this futuristic office pod, and the tiny house-inspired Kabinka.
To see more, visit Hello Wood and their Instagram.
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