Whaelghinbran Cabin

  • The aim of this project was to fully utilize the cabins minimal footprint, creating a functional interior intended for two people, and a quaint and comfortable retreat submerged in the wilderness.  The construction methods and materials were kept conventional, practical, and low cost; while highlighting sustainability.
    The interior finish is constructed out of plywood and the bed and table is able to fold into wall, allowing for a more open space.  The entryway, or ‘mud room’, is separated from the living space and given a masonry floor or stone finish, creating a temperature barrier and transition from there outside environment.  The ‘mud room’ is also designed for the storage of firewood and shoes or winter clothing accessories.   

    The cabin’s butterfly roof has the intent of providing optional rainwater collection, while also allowing for maximum sunlight to the PV panel; that is mounted on the northern angle.  

    The living quarters is divided  into a sleeping area for two, where one bed is situated in a loft above, and the wooden stove is situated on a fireproofing pedestal  on the opposite side of the floor plan.  From the beds, one can view the sky from the skylight window directly above. The high, slim window on the south facade allows for diffused lighting throughout the day.

    On the south façade are two large windows on the southwest corner, giving a view of the hill slope into the forest.  These windows are directed to maximize sunlight in the afternoon and morning, while not disturbing morning rest. From the exterior, one can experience a view of transparency of the cabin while looking through the aligned south-north windows.  When the cabin is unoccupied, large sliding shutters shield the southern windows for protection.

    Charred Cedar
    The exterior cladding is intended to be charred eastern cedar, an ancient Japanese technique called Shou-sugi-ban, to increase the lifetime of wood construction.  The cedar is to be burnt, giving an aesthetically appealing texture and color, extinguished after 7minutes with cold water.  After, the wood is treated with natural oils.  The act of charring and coating the wood is said to protect the cedar siding from weather, pests, and rot for 80 years, while also increasing fire resistance of the structure.
    Zinc Roofing
    The primary benefit of Zinc roofing is its longevity, beauty, resistance to corrosion and fungus, and especially the fact that it is 100% recyclable and result in clean rainwater runoff; unlike metals like copper.  Metal roofing also helps fireproof the structure.
    OSB or Plywood Interior Finish
    Used for its aesthetic and strength of the interior furniture and finish around the wood framing.  The plywood also provides a contrast from the charred exterior, giving the interior spaces a brighter quality.
    Recycled Cellulose Insulation
    Cellulose is composed of 75-85% recycled paper fiber, usually post-consumer waste newsprint. Advantages include a favorable thermal performance, long term savings, sound insulation, mold and pest control, fire retardation, therefore a vapor barrier may not be necessary.