The Chicken Point Cabin is a modern, 3,400 square foot loft-like cabin designed by Tom Kundig, Design Principal and Olson Kundig Architects and is situated on a half acre of land.
It is located on the crystal clear Lake Hayden in Idaho, USA, surrounded by the Coeur D’Alene National Forest. According to the Hayden Chamber of Commerce, the cove that the cabin is placed on is positioned at an altitude of 684 meters above sea level. The lake has over 80 kilometers of timber shoreline and beaches, of which Kundig has taken successful advantage. The lake is also surrounded by the Bitterroot Mountain Range. Because of the high latitude, the region has mild summers and cooler winters.
The idea for the cabin is that of a lakeside shelter in the woods — a little box with a big window that opens to the surrounding landscape. The cabin’s big window-wall (30 feet by 20 feet) opens the entire living space to the forest and lake. Materials are low maintenance—concrete block, steel, concrete floors and plywood—in keeping with the notion of a cabin, and left unfinished to naturally age and acquire a patina that fits in with the natural setting. The cabin sleeps ten.
The cabin is made of three general parts. These are the main concrete block containing the major portion of the house, a plywood insert, and a large steel fireplace created from a piece of the Alaska pipeline.
above image via Contemporist
The front door (shown above) is a normal width, yet 19 feet tall in order to accommodate ski equipment for the surrounding environment, as well as to mimic the pine trees of the dense forest. This is one of the many features that incorporates the surrounding nature into the design of the house; filtering out the environment while maintaining the feeling of being a part of it.
A massive window, over 6 meters wide by over 9 meters tall faces the expansive lake. This window is attached to a wheel that is easily turned by a crank, which rotates the window outwards and opens the interior of the cabin up to the lake:
The above photos of the window wall are courtesy of Turner Exhibits, who was responsible for the kinetic window design.
Besides this large window and the master bedroom window on the same wall, there are very few windows. This tunnels the focus through the major window, and draws the eye to the lake. By having the entire lake-facing wall made of glass, as well as the majority of it being able to open, the residents of the house are able to feel as if they are outdoors, while still being sheltered by the environment; another environmental filter while still feeling a part of nature.
Inside the use of color and texture are important in the interior of this casual family cabin. Strong blocks of color help to define space and direct the eye. Texture in furnishings provides a soft but strong counterpoint to the hard, raw material palette. Custom tables using plywood and polyurethane create a direct connection to the architecture while providing durability and function. Some of the unique interior features include the custom continuous steel pipe fireplace, the wood slab work surface supported by a truck suspension spring, and the custom stainless steel bathroom sink.
images and info courtesy of Olson Kundig Architects
Check out Patrick M Burnhams’ fabulous model of the Chicken Point cabin he created for his first year architecture studio at the University of Houston here.