067 - Nature Within

Alexandros Kokas

Athens, Greece

This small all-season shelter attempts to break the boundaries between nature and people as well as coexists with the environment with close to zero impact on it. This approach not only takes into consideration both the simplicity of the structural techniques and the improvement of the user experience but also supports the Canadian market.

Following the Acadian tradition and making use of the abundance of forest products, this cabin consists mainly of timber, not only at the exterior cladding but also at the structure itself. The orientation of the shelter provides a nice view over a young orchard and farm fields but also takes advantage of the gentle slope in order to minimize the impact at the forest’s ground. The entrance, which is located at the south side of the cabin is protected from the rain and snow but also from the strong west winds that are dominant in the area. Furthermore the west windows are equipped with exterior motorized shutters that are powered by their own photovoltaic panel and battery, protecting the user from the sun but also preventing the heat from entering the living space during the summer. Arrays of adjustable photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof for maximum solar exposure during all the seasons.

Moving to the interior, the main aspect of the design was the user experience. A bunk bed accommodates two persons comfortably and below it there is space for personal storage as well for the photovoltaic battery. The woodstove is equipped with a storage space for wood and is located near the sleeping area and the small living space. The living area consists of a small table and two armchairs where one can relax and enjoy the fire and the view. The armchairs can be moved at the exterior deck during sunny days through a double glazed sliding door, providing the user with the opportunity to engage nature in a different way. Next to the entrance there is a small bookshelf and a folding desk. The folding desk is equipped with a bench that folds and unfolds with it. This way the user is provided with a space to work or have a meal when needed and does not have to sacrifice any of his living area when the desk is not in use. Moreover the shelter is equipped with a small energy efficient refrigerator and several small spotlights, both powered by the photovoltaic panels, so that the user can comfortably experience the space during the night.

In order to provide plenty of construction options, some cost alternatives are included in the proposal.

The “Nature Within” cabin respects the environment providing at the same time, a comfortable living for the user with its innovative and unique design.

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