Check out this 350 sq. ft. low-maintenance and virtually indestructible modern cabin on stilts with steel shutters.

The owner’s hired Olson Kundig Architects to build a weekend cabin that could provide them with a rural retreat during their get-aways to Washington’s Olympic National Park. Since the cabin would be left uninhabited for weeks at a time steel shutters were used to completely enclose and secure the cabin when the owners are away.

As you walk up the stairs to the front door and through a small entry way you will see the bathroom on the left and straight ahead the main living space. The living room is very spacious and open with a dining area and compact kitchen. There is a ladder that leads up to the sleeping loft. The walls, floors and ceilings are lined in timber panels.

A large overhanging roof provides the balcony and windows shade from the natural sunlight. Exterior panels open and close using a custom steel rod with hardware that was originally designed for large barn doors. These steel panels can be opened using a mechanical system of gears, drive shafts and U-joints, which are set into motion by turning a wheel.

It was built using steel and structural insulated panels (SIPs). Most of the cabin was prefabricated off site to help preserve the natural landscaping.

The entire cabin is up on stilts to protect it from occasional floods. The cantilevered roof gives solar shading while protecting the structure from strong storms.

Modern Cabin on Stilts with Steel Shutters

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Images: Benjamin Benschneider

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Images: Benjamin Benschneider

I love the see-through mesh balcony that looks out towards the river. This modern cabin seems to be great for full time simple living. What do you think? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

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Andrea has lived simply in small spaces for more than 7 years and enjoys sharing her space saving (and space multiplying) tips from experience.

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{ 12 comments }

  • Les August 15, 2014, 1:03 pm

    Could you be locked in? I am design orientated and would need the slider to have a secondary purpose…a draw bridge over a water feature…a wood interior to soften the steel slider and have the steel slider come in two parts such as a lower walk way and an upper awning…a slide away to the roof top …just worries me that it could be accessed and locked while I was inside…

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  • Bruce Pritchett August 15, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I really like this, and like the way you can “close it up” at nighttime if you want more privacy or when you aren’t there. I wonder if high winds can create a problem with the big “shutter” hanging out there when it’s opened. Very cool, though.

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  • Gwen Rosewater August 15, 2014, 1:34 pm

    I love the way it looks, but I am another who wonders about that big metal shutter. I would imagine it would be very noisy when the wind hits it.

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  • Sharl August 15, 2014, 1:46 pm

    I like the idea of steel shutters but I think the ‘slide out to nowhere’ should have been given a LOT more thought before implementation. The rest of the design is top notch. Love it!

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  • lindy August 15, 2014, 2:15 pm

    I love the inside– a stairway to the loft is great. Don’t think I would like the big metal shutter though. Can it be closed from the inside because of bad weather? Can people still be inside when it is closed? Seems like a folding down porch roof might work along with a folding UP deck? How is it locked? Too many questions, LOL

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  • James August 15, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Looks like a giant sail. I think I would use a roll up security door.

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  • Mike Holliday August 15, 2014, 4:43 pm

    I love the basic concept except I was wondering about possible damage to sliding unit if a sudden straight line wind occured. Love the simplicity!

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  • T August 15, 2014, 6:41 pm

    This one is nice but the Delta Shelter has a bit more space for a family, it still has a similar construction though I have never seen the metal shutters sticking out like that. It seems like it’s gonna fall off.

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  • Rue August 15, 2014, 9:53 pm

    “Huge metal sail” was my first thought too. “Nice inside, shame about the outside” was the next.

    I like the minimal, clean look of the modern interiors, but the modern category seems to have a definite problem with “innovative” design trumping actual practical use.

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  • Brian August 16, 2014, 7:44 am

    I love the idea of the sliding barn doors for security purposes. However, I would change the large, main door so that it was split down the middle and slid apart. That way there would be less “door” cantilevered out on each side of the structure acting like sails. I think it would help the structure feel more balanced, and visually lighten it’s presence in the landscape as well.

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  • Amy August 22, 2014, 5:14 pm

    This is my favorite tiny house so far. :) Great design!

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    • Alex August 22, 2014, 5:43 pm

      Cool! Glad you liked it Amy- thanks!

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