Picturesque Prefab Defies Modular Mass-Produced Dwellings

Prefabs conjure images of hard-edged squares and rectangles, planes intersecting in space but lacking organic appeal or a human touch. Like something from a fairy tale, this cozy wooden cabin takes on this stereotype … and offers a rounded rebuttal.

Swedish designer Torsten Ottesjö of Cargo Collective wanted to build something that appealed to popular affections for automobiles, but that was also quintessentially Scandanavian Рthus the tribute to the scales and curved shape of a regionally-popular fish.

A single room wraps around inside, a partial section circling an invisible center, to create privacy despite the one-space arrangement. At just one square meter of floor space, it is physically small but seems more spacious thanks to the shape and natural lighting.

The floor consists of wood end-grain tiles and lightly-finished boards built to be experienced barefoot. From top to bottom and front to back, this region-typical approach to natural materials and texture gives new purpose to old traditions.

Built-ins are limited to bare (unfinished wood) essentials, including a minimalist master bed, modest kitchen and rounded wooden bench.

On the outside, recycled cellulose-infused cardboard provides wind and water protection while wooden slats and trim around the windows and door offer whimsical decorative appeal designed to fit into forested local contexts.

Between interior and exterior layers, natural wood-fiber canvas compliments recycled-paper insulation known as ecofiber, tucked behind canoe-like strips of curved-wood wall siding. Meanwhile, the structure itself sits up on steel stilts tied into the bedrock below via spikes, making for a light touch in terms of environmental impact and relative portability should moving the home be called for in the future.

“Built from local, on site ash, pine, spruce, and aspen, the building is an economical construction that is easy to produce, process and manage. Wood was selected as the primary material due to its natural properties, which include durability, biodegradability and the beautiful quality it reveals as it ages.” (Inhabitat)

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