Sol Duc Cabin
Providing secure shelter for every season, this steel-clad 350 sf cabin on stilts can be completely shuttered when the owner is away. The cabin’s rugged patina and raw materiality respond to the surrounding wilderness while its verticality provides a safe haven during occasional floods from the nearby river.
The overall design responds to the owner’s desire for a compact, low-cost, low-maintenance, virtually indestructible building to house himself and his wife during fishing expeditions. Composed of two levels, the cabin’s entry, dining and kitchen areas are located on the lower floor while a sleeping loft with minimal shelving hovers above. A cantilevered steel deck extends from the lower level, providing unimpeded views of the river.
Constructed primarily of unfinished, mild steel and structural insulated panels (SIPs), the cabin is supported by four steel columns and sits lightly on the site. Most of the structure—the steel frame and panels, the roof, shutters, and stairs—was prefabricated off-site, thereby reducing on-site waste and site disruption. Prefabrication kept typical construction wastage to a minimum.
With a cantilevered roof that provides solar shading and protection from the elements, Sol Duc Cabin opens to the environment through human power. Each of the building’s shutters can be opened and closed with hand wheels that move the shutters over the glazed portions of each façade. The shutters are operated by a series of mechanical devices including a hand wheel, drive shafts, u-joints, spur gears and cables.