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The word ‘cabin’ is no longer quite so inextricably tied to visions of rustic discomfort, little more than wooden shacks dotting the woods, haphazardly thrown together with whatever materials were available. Contemporary architects reinterpret the forest retreat with cleaner aesthetics, modern materials and an eye for detail as well as craftsmanship.

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This geometric black cabin by industrial design student Tomek Michalski provides a haven in a lush wooded setting, with a wood-lined interior that still has a cabin feel without being dark or overly rustic. Nearly every surface inside is covered in pale plywood for a soothing uniform appearance.

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Two large glazed walls on the ground floor put the focus on the landscape, making the retreat into a sort of nature observatory as well as a place to rest or work on special projects. While they don’t provide much privacy, the seclusion of the setting makes this a non-issue.

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The pointed roof of the cabin features an additional triangular window pitched toward the sky so sleepy inhabitants can gaze up at the treetops and the moon from the lofted bedroom.

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Says the designer, “A cold, misty forest in the context of a warm space of seclusion is supposed to help and shape character, as well as invoke emotions and willingness to ponder. Both the building itself and the interiors will be designed to affect the flora and fauna as little as possible.”