Jacob Witzling and Sara Underwood are designing and building an incredible collection of cabins in a Pacific Northwest rainforest—and they recently unveiled their latest dwelling. It’s called the Diamond Cabin—and it draws inspiration from geometry and fairy tales.
"The geometry is realized in the hexagonal pyramid roof and 16 triangular and trapezoidal skylights," Witzling says. "Using salvaged decades-old, hand-split cedar shakes as siding and draping the entire cabin in moss brings the fairy-tale element to our work."
With a footprint of 93 square feet, the cabin is shaped like a hexagon with six-foot sides. From the floors, the walls flare outwards at a 30-degree angle until they are 4 feet high.
"Because of the flared walls, we gain nearly 70 square feet of countertop, seating, and shelving," Witzling says. "At its widest point, the walls then bend in toward each other."
A ladder from the first-floor living room and kitchen leads to a 65-square-foot sleeping loft that stands 9 feet off the ground. The roof comes to a pinnacle at 22 feet.
The walls, ceiling, countertops, and shelving in the Diamond Cabin are constructed from Douglas fir that was salvaged from dilapidated structures on the property or purchased from a local sawmill that cuts windfall lumber.
The cabin’s exterior is clad in hand-split cedar shakes salvaged from an old structure on the property, and the metal roof is covered in moss picked from the cabin’s wooded landscape.
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Inside the cabin, the comforts of home include electricity, a gas stove, and a sink with cold running water. For outdoor showering, water is warmed up by a propane on-demand tankless heater. Covered in moss, the cabin blends into its wooded surroundings, while standing out with its angular roofline.
"We like to make our structures do many—sometimes contradictory—things at the same time. We want them to look as though they grew in the environment, but they were also built to stand out," says Witzling. "We want those who view them to think they look natural in their surroundings, yet at the same time, supernatural."
Want to experience one of Underwood and Witzling’s cabins? The design duo are considering renting out cabins at Cabinland, their 15-acre property cloistered in the Pacific Northwest’s temperate rainforest.
The property will consist of six to eight "fantastical cabins" alongside the Diamond Cabin. Underwood and Witzling have already constructed a wardrobe cabin, a pump house cabin, a wood-fired hot tub, and they are working on their "cabin castle"—a single-family home that they say "is actually three crazy little cabins connected by floating hallways." We can’t wait to see it!
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