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Are these the nicest cabins in the world?

By Paul Kerley
BBC News Magazine

image copyrightHaukur Sigurdsson

Many people yearn for their own quiet space. Somewhere remote - a place to write a novel or compose an album of love songs. A new book celebrates the work of those who have realised their dreams.

You'd have to travel to the island of Kulusuk - off the coast of Greenland, just south of the Arctic Circle - to see the view from this cabin for real.

Neatly perched on a rocky outcrop, with ice floating by, it is a prime example of something that might inspire cabin envy.

Put together by journalist Steven Leckart and web entrepreneur Zach Klein, the Cabin Porn book was inspired by the forest community of Beaver Brook - in upstate New York - where residents had been sharing photos of cabins online to encourage new creative constructions.

Leckart says the book celebrates cabins as the simplest form of architecture - that almost anyone can learn and attempt to build.

image copyrightHaukur Sigurdsson

For the book's American examples, Leckart travelled to meet the people behind each project to try to "demystify" cabin life.

In the Rocky Mountains he discovered this tree-house - sitting 30 feet above ground near Sandpoint, Idaho.

The structures hug Western Larch trees - a strong, slow-growing species.

image copyrightNoah Kalina

The man who created the tree-house, Ethan Schlussler, wanted to avoid bolting timber to the tree trunks - and instead developed an intricate clamping system.

Wooden struts are arranged vertically around the trunk and held in place by a metal cable.

The wires that hang down from the tree-house's front porch - not easy to spot in these images - are part of the bicycle elevator.

As you pedal, the bike travels either up or down.

image copyrightNoah Kalina

Further south - in Scottsdale, Arizona - this next cabin was built by Dave Frazee, while he was studying at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

The shelter is one of many student constructions found in the vast campus grounds - land which Wright himself purchased in 1937.

image copyrightNoah Kalina

While hiking in 2007, Frazee discovered the remains of an old derelict shelter - including a concrete chimney - dating from the 1950s.

Over the next few years, until his graduation in 2011, he added his own design elements - including a glass box, cold-rolled steel panels, plywood and redwood.

In 2014, Frazee returned nervously to see his cabin for the first time in three years.

He was delighted to see that everything was essentially as he had left it.

image copyrightNoah Kalina

Outside of the United States, a love of lodges is shared by the Scandinavians and northern Europeans.

The book is filled with eye-catching constructions that overlook Nordic and Alpine vistas.

image copyrightRuedi Walti

This is a 200-year old stacked stone summer home at Linescio in the Swiss Alps - renovated in 2011 by Buchner Brundler Architekten.

image copyrightRuedi Walti

And the diagonal lines of this next house look out on the hills of Saxony in eastern Germany.

image copyrightSebastian Heise

Built at Oberwiesenthal, close to the border with the Czech Republic, the cubic home looks like it has been wedged into the hillside.

image copyrightSebastian Heise

The Roundhouse at Bodrifty Farm - near Penzance in Cornwall - is a replica of a structure which is thought to have existed at a nearby Iron Age settlement.

image copyrightBodrifty Roundhouse

With granite walls and a thatched roof - it measures 35ft (13m) wide, and 36ft (13.1m) high.

image copyrightBodrifty Roundhouse

School parties visit the roundhouse and the nearby Iron Age remains out of the holiday season - while in the warmer months holidaymakers can book and stay.

image copyrightBodrifty Roundhouse

Emma Mustill, whose family owns the farm, compares the view of the roof inside to that of a cathedral.

The wooden cross beams are supported by an intricate circular structure - known as a double-edged hex ring beam.

image copyrightBodrifty Roundhouse

Staying circular - this yurt was built by Alec Farmer and Uula Jero in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.

image copyrightNiall Walker

The book describes itself as providing "inspiration for your quiet place somewhere".

But that doesn't mean your "quiet place" has to be luxurious.

This is a fisherman's cabin alongside Killary Harbour at Leenane in the Republic of Ireland.

image copyrightStu J Beesley

And keeping a watery theme - the hull of a boat will keep you dry in this cabin at Machynlleth in north Wales.

image copyrightAlex Holland

Finally, a cabin with a sinking feeling?

No, it's a boathouse sitting in the clear waters of the Obersee - in Bavaria, southern Germany.

image copyrightJenn and Willie Witte

See more from the Cabin Porn archives.

Cabin Porn is published by Particular Books.

The interior images of the Roundhouse at Bodrifty Farm do not feature in the book.

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Related Topics

  • Architecture
  • Construction industry
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