108 - ESSE

Ecaterina Stefanescu & Sam Eadington (Estudio ESSE)

Bucharest, Romania



We propose a lightweight shelter comprising a simple timber structure with a removable tent.

Our approach focused on the unique user experience offered by the natural surroundings and the human impact on such landscapes.

By opting for a removable tent within a timber structure we achieve a firm, durable and habitable structure with minimum cost, carbon footprint, and physical intrusion.

As opposed to conventional shelters, there are no windows within the tented structure. Contemporary architecture is all too often biased towards the visual experience. The forest provides a multi-sensory experience and we aim to focus the attention of the inhabitant on the sounds and movements of the surroundings.

When not in use the tent canvases are stored in an overhead compartment. The outer skin of the tent attaches to the timber columns while the inner skin fixes to the elevated insulation blocks of the floor and ceiling. The wood burning stove sits at the centre of the shelter.

The large south-facing roof is designed to provide rain and sun shelter to the space below, as well as offering a possible location for photovoltaic panels.

Beneath the roof, in addition to the tent storage compartment, is a terrace of bird houses meaning that the winged locals can also benefit from the new shelter.

Our design offers a seasonally adaptable shelter which is both flexible and lightweight. Whether a shaded spot for a summer picnic is needed, or a overnight winter refuge, this solution provides a minimally intrusive response which will enhance the relationship between humans and nature.

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