Virtually Indestructible: Tom Kundig's 'Apocalyptic' Cabin
Tom Kundig, a native Seattle architect, set out to design and create a virtually indestructible weekend cabin. Situated in one of Washington's national parks the structure features protective steel exterior sliding panels that can be opened and close to reveal sizeable glass windows and sits elevated several feet on steel stilts that prevent any to-be flood damage. Survival cabin? Not too bad.
'Kundig, principal designer at Olson Kundig Architects, was asked by the clients to create a "virtually indestructible" residence that could be left uninhabited for weeks at a time. It needed to be both secure and protected from the occasional flooding of a nearby river.
He responded by creating a 30-square-metre cabin clad externally with unfinished steel and raised up on four steel columns. "The cabin's rugged patina and raw materiality respond to the surrounding wilderness while its verticality provides a safe haven during occasional floods from the nearby river," said Tom.
The main space inside the cabin is taken up by a double-height living and dining area with a compact kitchen along one edge. A small washroom is tucked away at the back, while a ladder leads up to a mezzanine loft that functions as a sleeping area.
Walls, floors and ceilings are lined with timber panels. There is also a balcony with a see-through mesh floor, which faces out towards the river. The entire building was prefabricated and then assembled on site, reducing impact on the rural landscape, while the overall structure opens and blends beautifully with the surrounding wilderness.