Go Off-Grid in This Prefabricated Cor-Ten Steel Cabin

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Available for as low as $55,000, the Artist Bothy is a multipurpose, prefab hut designed to promote a creative spark in residents.

In 2011, Scottish artist Bobby Niven and architect Iain MacLeod launched the Bothy Project to offer creatives a chance to experience a remote residency in an off-grid, architect-designed bothy—or hikers' hut—in the Scottish Highlands. The first simple shelter Niven and MacLeod designed, the Inshriach Bothy, was installed in a woodland area in Cairngorms National Park. It has since welcomed many artists looking to experience off-grid living in a spectacular and isolated setting. 

The Inshriach Bothy sits in a clearing in Cairngorms National Park in Northeast Scotland.

The Inshriach Bothy sits in a clearing in Cairngorms National Park in Northeast Scotland.

Now, the duo has taken the concept one step further and launched the Artist Bothy. An evolution of their original project, the Artist Bothy is a prefabricated, multipurpose space designed to go off-the-grid and reconnect its owners with nature. Made from sustainable materials, the cabin and can be installed on-site in less than a day. Although it has been designed for off-grid use, the Artist Bothy can also be connected to water and electricity. 

With an internal space of 132 square feet and an 18 foot-by-9.8 footfootprint, the Artist Bothy is constructed from cross-laminated timber panels clad in Cor-Ten corrugated metal and locally sourced Scottish larch. 

With an internal space of 132 square feet and an 18 foot-by-9.8 footfootprint, the Artist Bothy is constructed from cross-laminated timber panels clad in Cor-Ten corrugated metal and locally sourced Scottish larch. 

The compact unit features a wooden interior and a mezzanine level for sleeping. Optional extras include a kitchenette, bench bed, shelving units, tables, a wood-burning stove, and outer decking. Despite a minimalist modern look, the home definitely takes inspiration from the traditional rustic huts it is named after. MacLeod explains, "As a design challenge, the Artist Bothy was a dream brief, to create a flexible space that could feel connected to nature in a rural environment yet also look at home in a more urban context." 

The Bothy has a fully insulated envelope and is double glazed.

The Bothy has a fully insulated envelope and is double glazed.

The Bothy’s clean outline conceals a drainage system and 10 centimeters of wood-fiber insulation. 

The Bothy’s clean outline conceals a drainage system and 10 centimeters of wood-fiber insulation. 

 The Bothy can be installed on-site in just a number of hours.

 The Bothy can be installed on-site in just a number of hours.

The bothy was designed as low-impact architecture, meant to enhance the experience of spending time in nature. 

The bothy was designed as low-impact architecture, meant to enhance the experience of spending time in nature. 

 "We sat down to look at how we could improve on the original Inshriach Bothy design and create a prefabricated Bothy, removing the headache of a complex build and install, and taking the ethos of simplicity and functionality even further," adds co-creator Niven.

The entrance to the minimalist cabin. 

The entrance to the minimalist cabin. 

The compact interior space measures 129 square feet, with a built-in bed and space for a kitchenette, table, bench, shelves, and stove. The addition of a skylight helps keep the interiors bright. 

The compact interior space measures 129 square feet, with a built-in bed and space for a kitchenette, table, bench, shelves, and stove. The addition of a skylight helps keep the interiors bright. 

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An internal mezzanine is an ideal sleeping space. 

An internal mezzanine is an ideal sleeping space. 

Sales of the Artist Bothy are helping the Bothy Project to partner with a broad range of organizations, artists, and sponsors to grow the network and develop more artistic residency opportunities across Scotland and beyond.

Innovative and contemporary, the inspiration for the cabin is firmly rooted in the traditions of rural living. 

Innovative and contemporary, the inspiration for the cabin is firmly rooted in the traditions of rural living. 

The bothy was designed as low-impact architecture, meant to enhance the experience of spending time in nature. 

The bothy was designed as low-impact architecture, meant to enhance the experience of spending time in nature. 

Go Off-Grid in This Prefabricated Cor-Ten Steel Cabin - Photo 12 of 12 -

The Artist Bothy is prefabricated in the Scottish Highlands and available to purchase from Bothy Stores . Prices start from £39,000 (approximately $55,000).

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Iain MacLeod
Artist and Co-Designer: Bobby Niven
Builder / General Contractor: Bothy Stores Ltd.
Cabinetry Design / Installation: Colin Parker Furniture