Dwell’s Top 10 Cabins of 2017

Dwell’s Top 10 Cabins of 2017

By Dwell
We've got cabin fever—in a good way.

In our humble opinion, nothing beats a cabin retreat. Tucked deep afield in an alpine forest or perched beside a placid lake, these wooden shelters put us back in touch with nature—no wonder they're a perennial favorite among our readers. Whether an oasis of rest and relaxation, or a springboard for adventure, these 10 cabins below ignited our imaginations. Keep scrolling to see which cabins made the cut.  

10. La Colombière Cabin Expansion in Quebec

The shape of a tree’s canopy inspires the expansion of a ramshackle cabin in Quebec. Landscape architect Suzanne Rochon spent more than two years searching for an isolated weekend getaway close to her home in Montreal. Upon discovering five densely wooded acres with an old lumberjack’s shed in the Eastern Townships region in 2002, Suzanne says she "fell in love with the land and nearly forgot to visit the shack."

By day, the Chechaquo Lot 6 cabin gives the impression of floating in a forest clearing; by night, its windows glow against the wooded darkness. From all vantage points, the landscape permeates this 1,000-square-foot cabin, designed for two outdoor enthusiasts and tucked at the toe of a dramatic slope in Winthrop, Washington.

A labor of love, the 377-square-foot Woodland Cabin is a design/build project completed over multiple trips to the lakeside lot in the village of Nouvelles in southern Belgium. The architects built the cabin using locally-sourced, storm-felled timber to deepen their understanding of materials and construction.

A dated A-frame cabin in Lake Tahoe is updated with a monochromatic palette. "The house had a generic look—lots of golden pine, chopped-up spaces, and laminate countertops," says designer Diana Vincent of High Camp Home about a 2,700-square-foot A-frame she recently renovated alongside MSM Construction. The team enlarged the kitchen and opened it to the living and dining areas, creating one large space. A dark, cramped staircase was replaced with a free-floating one. Reconfiguring the master bedroom and a bathroom yielded yet more precious usable space.

The Loft House is the first of four cabins commissioned by the Bergaliv Landscape Hotel in the Åsberget mountains of Northern Sweden. Designed by architect Hanna Michelson, its stripped-down silhouette and corresponding interior embodies the ultimate retreat in nature.

Balancing on irregular, rough-hewn rocks along the Norwegian coast, this renovated summer cabin near a town called Larvik in Vestfold County intelligently navigates a challenging terrain to take full advantage of dramatic views.

In a remote second-growth forest in Sullivan County, New York, is an off-the-grid tree house that was constructed with the help of the trees around it. Sited on a steep, sloping hill surrounded by trees, the 360-square-foot project was designed to accommodate a limited $20,000 construction budget—and to be approachable enough that amateur weekend builders could construct it.

Designed to be in harmony with the surrounding forest, Haru is a cafe and camping complex by South Korean firm B.U.S Architecture. The architects collaborated with the owner, who was born and raised in the area and already had years of experience running a campsite, to define what an outdoor lifestyle meant to each of them—and determine how to best convey it through architecture.

Next to an old farmhouse in the East Tyrolean village of Nussdorf, Austria, is an unusually shaped, shingle-clad cabin that's raised up on skinny steel struts. Set on a hilly incline and designed by architects Peter and Lukas Jungmann, the cabin appears to hover above ground like some sort of alien object—a stark contrast to its pastoral environment and the traditional Austrian chalets that surround it.

On Waiheke Island near Auckland, New Zealand, the Tent House sits among wetlands on a patch of undeveloped land. It captures the back-to-basics simplicity of camping, thanks to architect Chris Tate. Though he originally created the cabin to be a personal retreat/studio, Tate ended up experimenting with the design in order to challenge conventional expectations of what makes an ideal weekend escape. Now available for short-term rental, the one-bedroom, one-bathroom, 753-square-foot home includes a sleeping area on the mezzanine, a fully functional kitchen, an open-plan living area, and a front deck designed to "fan out"—giving the illusion of a shadow cast by the A-frame structure.

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.


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