Harmonizing With Nature, These Eco-Huts Offer Respite in the Heart of France

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By Anna Jones / Published by Dwell
On a reforested nature reserve in Saubion, France, a series of private, wooden structures known as Les Echasses Hotel perches at the water's edge.

The site contains an existing lake whose shoreline was modified into a landscape of dunes, forming bays for the individual huts to sit in a manner that creates harmony between structure and landscape. Each hut is a point in the landscape that allows nature to continue at its surround.  

Designed by French studio Patrick Arotcharen Architecte, the ecologically-minded, golf-and-surf hotel is committed to sustainable development. Built with local timber and as many additional locally-sourced materials as possible, the series of structures hovers over the lake on stilts, minimizing the physical impact on the local ecosystem while bringing guests close to nature. 

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Maritime pines from the Landes Forest compose the exterior wood cladding of each hut and purposefully form the incredible views outward to the lake. The wood frame segues into an angular, butterfly roof that collects and directs rainwater back into the lake. Furthermore, it provides shading where full-height windows open into the living space. By orienting each hut in the same direction, the architects create a sense of isolation within the wood enclosure. 

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In addition to the beautiful setting, guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and swimming pool, and local activities such as golf and surfing. 

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For more information, visit Les Echasses online.