The Rolling Huts are low-tech and low-impact in their design. The huts sit lightly on their forty-acre site, a floodplain meadow in an alpine river valley. The owner purchased this former RV campground with the aim of building several guest huts for friends and allowing the landscape to return to its natural state. Zoning restrictions did not permit permanent structures to be built on the site. Kundig’s witty, delightful solution was to put the huts on wheels, which lift the structures above the meadow, providing space for native grasses to grow while yielding unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains.

The construction of each hut is simple. It is, in essence, an offset, steel-clad box on a steel and wood platform. Walls are topped by clerestory windows, over which a SIPs panel roof floats in an inverted, lopsided V. At the north end, a double-paned sliding glass door opens to the outside and a covered deck. Interior finishes—cork and plywood—are unassuming, inexpensive, and left as raw as possible. Exteriors are durable, no-maintenance materials: steel, plywood, and tongue-and-groove car decking. The rustic character of the materials responds to the natural setting.

The six huts are grouped as a herd: while each is sited toward a view of the mountains (and away from the other structures), their proximity unites them. Showers and a parking area are located in and near the centrally located barn, a short distance from the herd. Rain and snowmelt from each hut are allowed to run off into the ground. The huts evoke Thoreau’s simple cabin in the woods—structures that take second place to nature.

"Here, you can hear the silence; here, there exists a great escape from daily life." - Tom Kundig.

Project Team: Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal; Jerry Garcia, Project Manager.

General Contractor: Tim Tanner
Consultants: MCE Structural Consultants (structural engineering)

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Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo  of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Olson Kundig's six Rolling Huts boast steel-clad exteriors matched by unassuming interiors. The structures are designed to “take second place to nature.” Photo 2 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Olson Kundig's six Rolling Huts boast steel-clad exteriors matched by unassuming interiors. The structures are designed to “take second place to nature.”

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 3 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Living Room. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 4 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Living Room. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 5 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 6 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 7 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 8 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Modern home with Exterior and Cabin Building Type. Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig Photo 9 of Rolling HutsView Photos

Rolling Huts | Olson Kundig

Credits

Posted By
Architect
Builder
  • Tim Tanner
Photographer
  • Derek Pirozzi
  • Chad Kirkpatrick
  • Tim Bies - Olson Kundig
  • Mikel Amias - Olson Kundig
Bedrooms
  • 1
  • Structure
  • Mobile Home
  • Style
  • Modern
  • Year
  • 2007
  • Square Feet
  • 250