084 - A Frame Cabin

Glenn Jeffrey & Blanca De Juan Bayarri (Faber Architecture)




The A Frame Cabin is a modern interpretation of the traditional A frame structures constructed by woodsmen as temporary shelters. The simplicity of this structure, utilisation of local materials and efficiency (structural and construction time) of these shelters are qualities that served as a basis for this design. Historically, A frame structures have allowed individuals to connect with nature at a very basic and fundamental level. The A Frame Cabins' primary purpose is to make the great outdoors accessible for everyone – to encourage individuals from all walks of life to be immersed in and surrounded by nature.

Central to the concept of the A Frame Cabin is the minimal impact on the environment, not only in the production of the cabin, but also on the site of the cabin. The triangular plan has only three adjustable contact points (threaded jacks) with the ground. There is no requirement for substructure and therefore the cabin is not fixed to a single location. The cabin can be relocated at any time to a variety of sites offering maximum flexibility. Materials have been chosen that have low embodied energy, long life cycles and originate from sustainably managed sources. To achieve this, the A Frame Cabin is constructed wholly of timber and insulated with sheep's wool – a natural material that outperforms many modern insulation materials. Construction of the cabin is extremely simple. Three timber panels are fabricated and erected off site to form the shelter in a controlled environment to ensure accurate construction tolerances are achieved. This also avoids causing nuisance and pollution in the forest environment.

360 degree views to the woodland through the fully glazed entrance elevation and side windows allow the cabin inhabitants to connect with nature. These windows are openable for ventilation and cooling. A fixed slot window runs along the spine of the cabin giving a continuous unobstructed view from the forest floor to stars above. Perfect for stargazing from the sleeping trampoline at night and ensuring that the cabin is filled with light during the day. Louvres to the entrance facade glazing prevent overheating during the summer months and allow solar gain during the winter months to passively heat the interior. Self adhesive photovoltaic strips are located on the louvres to generate sufficient electricity to power the strip LED strip lighting to the interior and to power portable devices such as laptop computers.

The cabin is designed for two people to comfortably reside. Internally there is integrated shelving, storage (for baggage, logs and the photovoltaic batteries) and a desk area. The storage area also serves as a seating bench positioned opposite the log burner. A foldable ladder gives access to the sleeping mezzanine, which comprises of a mesh sleeping trampoline for comfort, ease of maintenance and to maximise the natural light within the interior.

The A Frame Cabin is a temporary home, like the traditional A frame structures that inspired the design, that encourages the inhabitants to directly experience and connect with nature.

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