Backwoods Cabin

How can architecture provide the setting to enhance the awareness of the surrounding while not distancing itself from nature?

Sussex, Canada


Education, Residential



Traditionally, backwood cabins served as a resting place for its occupants. Community Forests International’s call for a rethink of the cabin asked for a blurring of the distinction between the inside and outside, while serving a functional use as a cabin for researchers in the forest.

Our design stems from the roots of architecture; building as shelter. While occupants can interact with the surrounding within the cabin itself by simply stepping out into the forest, the building also carefully frames the surrounding to bring the surrounding into the interior.

To make efficient use of the small building footprint, the building is designed to transform internally for different usages. Swinging partitions allow the building to adapt for different configurations, creating a working space and a living space that could suit the needs of each occupant. As the cabin can be configured for programmatically, it could also conserve energy usage by minimising the area required for heating when certain parts of the cabin are not in use.