The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

The Climber’s Cabin 

AR Design Studio

AREA
25 M²

YEAR
2021

PHOTOGRAPHS
Martin Gardner

MANUFACTURERS
Herman Miller, Buckland Timber, Smart Systems

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Awa Engineers

ARCHITECT
Jonathan Oswald

DIRECTOR & ARCHITECT
Andy Ramus

CATEGORY
Cabins & Lodges

LOCATION
United Kingdom

The Climber’s Cabin is a new project recently completed by award-winning, Winchester-based Architects AR Design Studio.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

Sitting between the edge of deciduous woodland and a stream, its purpose is to serve as guest accommodation and as an independent space for the children as they grow older.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

The brief was to create a compact, off-the-grid, self-build ancillary space for their house.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

With the client having little experience in construction, part of the brief was to design the cabin such that it could be self-built, making use of straightforward construction methods and sustainable, locally sourced materials that would allow much of the work to be carried out by the client with support from friends.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

At just 25sqm and a brief to sleep four, space was at a premium. The cabin started out as a 6x4m box which was then manipulated in a pragmatic manner to maximize the available floor area. To begin with, the roof was pitched in order to make space for a mezzanine.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

Then the volume was increased on one side to provide space for storage without compromising floor space. Finally, the front truss was rotated towards the northwest in order to create a trap for the late evening sun and allow for a small sheltered terrace.

A large terrace wraps around the side of the cabin for use during the warmer months. An adaptable living space to the front takes advantage of the large picture window while at the rear there are two children’s bunks with a double bed over at the mezzanine level.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

Smaller windows provide framed views of the woodland from the sleeping spaces. The children’s bunks have direct access to the terrace connecting their own personal space with the garden.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

The cabin is constructed around four A-Frame trusses. These were fabricated off-site and erected in a similar fashion to a barn raising, resting atop simple pad foundations and brick piers.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner

Upcycled scaffold boards form the interior finishes while locally sourced cedar shingles clad the exterior. Between is a thick layer of insulation, ensuring that the Cabin remains warm all year round and minimizing its heating requirements.

This sustainable approach to construction gives a very natural texture to the building and emphasizes the relationship with the surrounding woodlands.

The result is a tranquil space that makes use of natural materials, glass, and its context to create a real sense of connection to the surrounding woodlands and provide a small escape from the everyday.

The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner


The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner
The Climber’s Cabin
© Martin Gardner


The Climber’s Cabin
Plans
The Climber’s Cabin
Section A-A


The Climber’s Cabin
East Elevation
The Climber’s Cabin
South Elevation
The Climber’s Cabin
North Elevation
The Climber’s Cabin
West Elevation

AR Design Studio
T +44 1962 864545
AR Design Studio
Calpe House, 20 Little Minster Street, Winchester, Hampshire, So23 9Hb, United Kingdom