The Forest House, A Nor Cal Cabin Compound

The Forest House by Envelope AD

Douglas Burnham of Envelope A+D designed this very cool compound of sorts – a cluster of tented cabins on stilts connected by a wood walkway for a family in Northern California.

The Forest House by Envelope A+D

Recently featured in the NY Times’ T Magazine, the retreat has canvas-roofed wood cabins that comprise sleeping quarters and common living/ dining areas. The bathrooms from each bedroom are placed in a separate structure across a private deck.

Forest House by Envelope A+D

Forest House by Envelope A+D

Forest House by Envelope A+D

Forest House by Envelope A+D

The children’s bunkhouses

Each one-room cabin is connected by a network of wooden paths that narrow and widen and narrow again, following the natural sway of the land.

contemporary cabin

forest house

cabin design

 army-green canvas secured by a rope lattice.
The structures’ roofs are made of army-green canvas secured by a rope lattice.
open-air shower
An open-air shower with copper fittings, deep in the woods.

The multiple cabins are stained matte black and contrast with the warm plywood interiors. There is a minimum of furniture, much of it designed by Burnham and his team.

forest house envelope ad IIHIH

modern cabin

interior cabin design

trestle dining table by Douglas Burham
The trestle dining table was designed by Douglas Burham and his team
A grid of canisters lends privacy to the stand-alone bathroom
A grid of canisters lends privacy to the stand-alone bathroom.

House plans:

plans for the Master bed and bath
plans for the communal kitchen and dining

The following text is courtesy of Envelope A+D:
The clients sought a family retreat hidden in the forested hills of Northern California, where an extended community of family, friends and colleagues could gather. We wondered, What if the forest itself was the house?

Rather than a singular building, the house comprises a cluster of tent cabins—three sleeping quarters and a living-dining commons—rising into the forest canopy on stilts and linked by wood paths and gathering places. Extending our investigation into liminal structures, we aimed to foster playfulness and conviviality braced by affinity with family and friends.

The tented roofs and walls allow a connection with the natural setting—its sounds and changing seasons—while large clear and mirrored-bronze glass windows frame views of the landscape and neighboring “rooms.” Wood-framed walls and floors lend warmth and support the comforts of modern living, deep within the forest.

Here, the forest and house are one with indoor and outdoor rooms suspended between the treetops and canopy floor.

Envelope A+D
images and info courtesy of Envelope A+D and Stefan Ruiz for T magazine