Built for a a professional Australian couple seeking a weekend escape far from offices and paperwork, this diminutive cabin by Paul Morgan Architects is a far cry from the simple log structures often pictured when woodland living is mentioned. The building is a complete reappraisal of the cabin concept, and while it’s still built from wood and features many wood elements, its interior spaces have all been reevaluated and its exterior form has been carefully considered to honor both nature and the technological age. While its basic structure is largely circular, a large roof overhang and many found branches descending from it create a visually enticing shell for the vacation house, shading occupants and obscuring any overly artificial architectural cues. Inside, natural wood is formed into geometric shapes, juxtaposing tried-and-true cabin materials with the reality of modern design values. However, all of this works advantageously, resulting in a retreat that is both comfortably rustic and decidedly current.
The house has no specifically-defined shape it’s supposed to take; instead, it simply resembles generally organic curves and forms, fitting into its surroundings much better than a typically boxy contemporary design.
From the front is the only angle at which any truly human design influence is obvious, represented by the symmetry of the building’s two sides.
A small rain-sheltered deck sits off the front room of the cabin, sharing its flooring with the room inside.
Smoothed-down tree branches are utilized as visual trickery, seeming to hold up the overhang of the structure’s roof. This illustrated (yet nonexistent) precariousness is a hallmark of traditional wood cabin design.
The house betrays its ultra-modern nature the most from the rear, where a metal-roofed carport makes up more the majority of its presence.
Inside, the decor is a mixture of old-world utility and contemporary forms. A tried-and-true wood-burning furnace sits right next to the modern lighting concepts of the kitchen cabinets, themselves accented by rustic wood.
The cabin fans out from a central wooden beam, with similarly-sized ceiling beams creating a spoked wheel and forming a circular overall feel to its interior.
The main room is more than just a kitchen; it also features a cozy living room with more diffused accent lighting and built-in furnishings.