Tag Archives: cabin

a danish shelter in black.

We all seem to respond to the idea of living more simply and in closer proximity to nature. Like the cabins I wrote about in the NZ wilderness (here), these shelters offer a pared-back environment, but very little, if anything, is compromised.

Vipp Shelter is a 55m2 cabin comprising living, bathing and eating areas, and sleeping for 4. They are prefabricated in Denmark and brought to site – anywhere in the world you happen to own a piece of wilderness – where they are erected in a few days. The facade is sheet metal, fully insulated and painted black. And everything is included. There is a complete kitchen, in matt black, with Vipp fittings and all cutlery, kitchen utensils and plates. A fully functioning bathroom, with towels. The sleeping loft has an integrated bed with bedding. All lighting is included. A functioning fireplace, floor heating.

The interior aesthetic is contemporary Danish; like a Vipp bin the vibe is modern – not minimal, but clean and industrial. But unlike a Vipp bin, there is no choice of colour. As Henry Ford said, you can have any colour so long as it’s black.

vipp-shelter-morten-bo-jensen-ohl3vipp-shelter-morten-bo-jensen-ohl.vipp-shelter-morten-bo-jensen-ohl2vipp-shelter-morten-bo-jensen-ohl3Which cabin would you own?

More about Vipp Shelter, here. Photographs, via

home of the year 2014.

An eyrie is defined as ‘the nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, built in a high inaccessible place’. A perfect moniker, then, for these two cabins, built on an inlet on the New Zealand coast, and awarded 2014 Home of the Year by Home magazine.

Barely larger than their four sheets of plywood, the cabins are off-grid and autonomous, their outsides burnt black. I love the description of the architects’ vision, a ‘poetic of small boats bobbing in a sea of grass’. There are no doors. One climbs up boulders and in through a window instead. Each comprises a tiny bathroom (both have showers that are outdoors), a kitchen, a sitting area and a sleeping loft. Each has two large windows and wooden hatches that allow ventilation of the bathroom and sleeping areas. A window in the ceiling allows a view of the night sky. The interior of one of the cabins is covered in honey-coloured ply; the other is inky black. A perfect owl’s house.



Photography, Jeremy Toth (feature image, images 2, 3, 6) and Darryl Ward (images 4, 5)

Eyrie by Cheshire Architects, via. More cabins for living in, here and here

cabin in wood and grey.

I wrote about Diogene, an experimental, minimalist living unit, here. APH80 is not autonomous (nor is the name poetic…), but it is a similarly small, perfectly formed, portable dwelling designed by architecture firm abaton.

Measuring 9 x 3 metres, it comprises a fully equipped interior with living-room/kitchen, bathroom and double bedroom. The material palette is all pale woods – a selection of FSC-certified spanish fir, local lumber and grey cement wood board cladding the facade. A solid timber skeleton allows large openings to the outdoors. It can be transported by road and placed anywhere.


Just perfect for two. Low cost Prefab Home by Abaton via

Another small space, this time an enchanting, magical shed, here

More wonderful spaces, here