Cabin on a Hill [M1]

Like Henry David Thoreau, we will build a cabin in the woods (except on a hillside) near something (a pond, for example) that allows one (or a small group of friends or strangers) to explore independence, isolation, self-reliance, and simple living. And like Thoreau’s cabin, ours will be wood framed.

Despite its ubiquity, wood framing is one of this country’s most overlooked contributions to architecture. Its lack of disciplinary prestige stems from the same characteristics that make it so prevalent—it’s easy, thin, and inexpensive. However, these qualities introduce a flexibility for form, labor, composition, class, sensibility, access, and style that open up new possibilities for architecture. Additionally, the design of wood framed buildings has been codified over the years. As a result, they’ve become exceptionally predictable and conservative.

Projects will experiment with new directions for softwood architecture. The general arc will be to identify conventions and then exaggerate them, giving shape to a cabin on a sloped site through wood framing’s adjacent qualities, rather than the common use of the framed wall.

Paul Andersen will be in residence on September 1, 2, 15, 16, 29, and 30, and October 13. Paul Preissner will be in residence on September 8, 9, 22, and 23, October 6, 7, and 13.