The climber’s hut / AR Design Studio
The climber’s cabin / AR Design Studio
Text description provided by the architects. The Climber’s Cabin is a new project recently completed by award-winning studio AR Designs Architects based in Winchester. Situated between the edge of a hardwood wood and a stream, its purpose is to serve as guest accommodation and an independent space for children as they grow.
The goal was to create a compact, off-the-grid, self-built auxiliary space for their home. As the client had little construction experience, part of the brief was to design the cabin in such a way that it could be self-built, using simple construction methods and locally sourced sustainable materials that would allow to do much of the work. by the client with the support of friends.
With only 25 m² and a capacity of four beds, space was limited. The cabin started out as a 6x4m box which was then pragmatically manipulated to maximize the available floor space. Initially, the roof was sloping to make room for a mezzanine. Then the volume was increased on one side to provide storage space without compromising floor space. Finally, the front truss was turned to the northwest to create a trap for the late evening sun and allow for a small sheltered terrace.
A large deck wraps around the side of the cabin for use in the warmer months. A modular living space at the front takes advantage of the large bay window while at the rear there are two children’s bunk beds with a double bed on the mezzanine. Smaller windows provide framed views of the forest from the sleeping areas. The children’s bunk beds have direct access to the terrace connecting their personal space to the garden.
The cabin is built around four A-Frame trusses. These were fabricated off-site and erected in the same manner as a raised barn, resting on simple foundations and brick pillars. Recycled scaffold boards form the interior finishes while locally sourced cedar shingles cover the exterior. Between the two is a thick layer of insulation, ensuring the cabin stays warm all year round and minimizing its heating needs.
This sustainable approach to construction gives a very natural texture to the building and emphasizes the relationship with the surrounding woods. The result is a tranquil space that uses natural materials, glass and its context to create a real sense of connection with the surrounding woods and offer a little escape from everyday life.