This Fold-Up Cabin Will Give the Zombies No Quarter

Why do glass houses get a bad rap again?

May 9, 2017 9:00 am

We have something of a soft spot for Pacific Northwest architecture firm Olson Kundig, whose residences are visions of modern engineering that manage to never overshadow the surrounding wilds. We love Chicken Point Cabin for its 30-foot hand-cranked window-wall; the open-air social space of the Pole Pass Retreat; the stilted rolling cabins of Methow Valley, Washington.

No surprise then, that we love the False Bay Writer’s Cabin in the architect’s home region of the Puget Sound. The 500-square-foot structure is essentially a glass house that serves as a creative retreat or guest house in the backyard of the property’s main dwelling.

Writer’s cabin (6 images)

So how do the architects give privacy to a home that is 75% windows? They devised a rugged wire rope and hydraulic winch system that can raise or lower three outer walls. When lowered, the walls add 600-square-feet of usable deck to the abode. When raised, the house is fully boxed in and secured from the elements (it also functions to secure the site during long-term vacancies).

Inside, a murphy bed, small bathroom and kitchenette surround a cozy fireplace. And that’s about it. In service of the ultimate goal of being a retreat for a writer, emphasis was placed on keeping everything as uncluttered as possible. Nothing but views and your own thoughts, for better or worse.

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