More often than not developed as weekend retreats or vacation homes, contemporary cabins also offer a fresh take on traditional cottage designs. On this page, you can browse through some of the most innovative projects we could find, with cabin designs that range from simple and minimalist to imaginative and bold. They are also more compact than a permanent residence, but feature comfortable living spaces that focus on gorgeous surroundings. Whether built in the middle of a forest, on the top of a cliff that plunges into the sea, or in a field surrounded by agricultural land and pastoral views, these houses are all one of a kind.
Unlike traditional cabin designs, most of these architectural projects move away from the standard gabled shape and A-frame silhouette. Even cabins that reference mountain chalets boast distinctive, exaggerated triangular forms with glazed facades that open the interiors to the surrounding nature. Some designs are circular while others feature stacked volumes that maximize access to views. Asymmetric modular designs also provide a convenient way to create the ideal retreat in nature.
In terms of materials, these contemporary cabin designs put the focus on sustainability and on celebrating nature. Blackened timber cladding finished with the traditional Japanese shou sugi ban technique protects the wood from the elements, insects, and other damage and also minimizes maintenance. Mirrored steel exteriors make cabins disappear in a woodland, while transparent polycarbonate or glass walls make the residents feel completely immersed in natural settings. Varying in size, these cabins include everything from a writer’s cabin to a one-room hotel retreat or large family residences.