The traditional A-frame cabin became an icon between the 1950s and 1970s, its proportions calling to mind relaxation and adventurous vacations beside a lake or high up in the snowy mountains. We associate them with cozy fires, falling snowflakes, stacks of wood, circles of adirondack chairs, and good company. While the rustic hand-built models will always hold a special place in the hearts of many, modernized A-frames are (literally) popping up in all sorts of places and taking this architectural archetype to new heights.
A new design from world-renowned firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) takes the traditional A-frame and turns it into a gleaming geometric volume without sacrificing its charm. The house is customizable both inside and out. Constructed in upstate New York, it will be available to purchase by the public in the near future.
Largely prefabricated, the 100-percent recyclable “A45 House” can be assembled in a matter of days, and it’s capable of going off-grid. BIG designed the structure as a prototype for tiny house company Klein, whose aim is to develop tiny home concepts in collaboration with the world’s leading architects and get them delivered to their respective locations in a matter of six months.
Why the shift from the classic A-frame shape? BIG wanted more space for the same size footprint, so they twisted the roof 45 degrees away from the square base to give it a more consistent 13-foot height and a shape that changes depending on your perspective. The house measures a mere 180 square feet inside, but it looks larger than it is from outside with its triangular floor-to-ceiling window and striking black exterior.
Inside, the home’s exposed solid pine frame and Douglas Fir flooring blend with insulating space-grade natural cork walls to embody the Nordic and Danish concept of hygge: a feeling of coziness and contentment. A wood-burning fireplace ties one corner of the space together, while a mini kitchen by Københavns Møbelsnedkeri offers just enough utility for the cabin’s purpose. Everything is simple and minimalist while retaining a sense of warmth and comfort thanks to all that wood.
“What would it take to fall in love with, to make a commitment to, and to give a bold, loud YES to the tiny house way of living?” asks Klein. “We believe it will take the ultimate proposal — a beautiful synergy of form, function, and freedom.”
“Today, 54 percent of the world’s population of 7.5 billion people lives in major cities, and while we urbanites work hard, the majority of us can’t afford to buy a second home. We love a great escape on weekends and holidays. We fantasize about a home outside the city, at our favorite vacation spot, being on the beach or deep in the woods. But the realities of renovation costs, annual maintenance, and hefty down payments keep us from fulfilling this dream.”
“Klein’s mission is to give you the possibility of combining city life with owning a sustainable tiny house designed with the utmost care for living quality and built with the highest standard of craftsmanship.”