A prefab structure in the woods supports a client's yoga practice.
This serene lakeside retreat, designed for yoga and exercise, is part furniture design and part architectural design. It’s a modified Bunkie, or a small prefabricated structure produced the Bunkie Co. that can be rapidly assembled on-site. Its designs are a joint effort among a team of designers: Nathan Buhler and Jorge Torres, furniture designer Evan Bare, and furniture manufacturer Jim Moore. The highly collaborative structures are prefabricated using CNC mill technology—essentially computer controlled drills—that ensure higher quality and better material economy than traditional methods allow. This technique produces individual parts that, much like some furniture manufacturing processes, are a ready-made fit together. The Bunkies themselves can be used as playhouses, guest rooms, home offices, and a range of other functions. Their size—about 100 square feet—means they don’t require permits for construction. More lenient codes in the U.S. has enabled the Bunkie Co. to begin designing a 200-square-foot model for the American market.
This particular project, at 300 square feet, required some modification to meet building codes. Nevertheless, it took only a week and a half to build on site.
Located about 100 miles north of Toronto, the Bunkie overlooks the Lake of Bays and is adjacent to the client’s house. This Bunkie is clad in wood reclaimed from a barn. A patio extends outwards, enabling the client to exercise outdoors when weather permits.
The client, a life-long practitioner of yoga, was tired of the drab, enclosed yoga studios he usually used. Instead, he desired a beautiful space that connected to the outdoors. Thanks to its views and simple interior finish, the client described it as supremely tranquil and a warm ‘womb-like’ environment.
An ethanol-burning fireplace adds warmth in colder months. The reinforcing rods above provide additional structural support to the enlarged Bunkie.
These rustic roof beams were also recovered from the barn and support a covered patio at the rear of the Bunkie.
The roof is anodized aluminum and, thanks to the wooden cladding, the Bunkie blends nicely into its forested surroundings.