105 - Casa Obscura

Nikolay Kyurkchiev & Stefan Stoev

Sofia, Bulgaria


CASA OBSCURA is a small dwelling, meant to provide its inhabitants with a unique experience, all while striving to be environmentally conscious.

The cabin’s geometry is a nod to the classic Canadian saltbox house. The sloping roof is not only the easiest way to deal with rain and snow accumulation – it’s also an internationally recognizable symbol for “home”, which means it can be applied in a variety of geographic regions. The main volume of the cabin is like a box on “feet”, which makes it adaptable to different terrains.

Without a doubt the most interesting aspect of this project is the “camera obscura” design. The camera obscura principle is that in a pitch-black room you have a small opening, which acts like a camera lens, projecting an image of the outside surrounding inside. CASA OBSCURA has integrated window and door roller blinds for that very purpose. The classic camera obscura projects the image upside down, so we recommend installing a photographic lens in the opening, in order to flip the image back, for maximum effect.

The main purpose of the cabin, though, is to be environmentally conscious. The materials used are with the lowest possible carbon footprint, while trying to remain budget-friendly. The base structure is from wood, which the area has an abundance of (and is also low-carbon). The whole volume is closed with structural insulated panels – again, incorporating wood and extremely inexpensive. They are covered with composite recycled shingles, which (as the name suggests) are from 95% recycled materials and are more durable than shingle materials in the same price range. The window and door are both with low-e glass, which drastically reduces heating and cooling costs.

CASA OBSCURA looks a lot like many environmentally conscious structures, which is no surprise – good ideas don’t need to be pioneers, but they need to be improvements. CASA OBSCURA takes the best from its eco-friendly ancestors and gives it an interesting twist, with the obscura effect mentioned – making for a unique and unforgettable experience for its inhabitants.

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