089 - Embers

Milind Goel (Nonscale Co.)

Tokyo, Japan




“Time takes life away

And gives us memory, gold with flame, black with embers."

- Adam Zagajewski


Project Embers intends to bridge the gap between sustainability, cost and a dynamic architectural form that not only compliments the function it houses, but also creates a unique architectural experience.

The design starts by engaging in a dialogue with nature. In a forest, it is only most logical to seek shelter under a tree. The semi-circular form centres itself around a tree to utilize its canopy against winter snow and summer sun.

The form, although dynamic, reduces the surface area to be clad by 10 percent and creates a formal transition from a Wigwam house form to an Acadian house form. The ‘formal’ language borrowed from the local history of New Brunswick, contributes to the larger agenda of sustainability.

A hybrid, derived from local built history, allows for a completely different view and expression depending on which direction you approach it from. This allows you to explore the cabin, as you explore the woods.

This conversation with the forest is reflected in the way openings are provided. The thin slits of glass reveal nature outside while keeping the mystery alive. When you move inside the cabin, the line of sight changes, and so does the glimpse one gets of the woods.

Furthermore, these apertures, while controlled to inhibit heat loss, are strategically placed to compliment the inside space. When you wake up, when you sit on the bed, when you are reading a book, when you are laid back on the recliner, there is always an aperture right in front you, connecting you immediately to the outside.

In the night-time, the apertures allow you to view the night-time canopy, foliage and stars, and create patterns of light, as the sun moves from the east to the west – an experiential sun-dial.

By taking time to carefully map out the construction procedure, and modelling each layer enabled us to build a dynamic, sustainable form within a reasonable budget.

This marries the idea of sustainability, cost efficiency and material efficiency to something unique and dynamic.

When the embers [of a wood] glow, they do it ever so dynamically, such, that you can stare at them for hours. This intrigue, this warmth and this connection to the woods is what we intend to explore through our design, in the sincerest hope of contributing in a small way, to the natural context and history of New Brunswick.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Back to Designs

comments powered by Disqus