Double Wide Type
Overlooking a lush wooded valley below, the Cornwall Cabin rests on a steep sloping site in a rural corner of Northwestern Connecticut. As a weekend retreat for a Manhattan mother and her young daughter, the 1,500 square foot modern prefabricated cabin - located two hours outside the city - was carefully designed for simple, low-maintenance living. The compact floor plan efficiently accommodates the essentials for their weekend lifestyle. Custom built-ins for storage, benches, bookshelves, and bunk beds were incorporated throughout to maximize space and usability.
The cabin is sited to allow for uninterrupted views of the valley to the South. As such, the house is a linear composition oriented on an East/West axis, with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and sliders across the Southern façade to maximize daylight and highlight the stunning views. A handmade cedar brise-soleil also spans the façade to diffuse the summer sun and reduce unwanted heat gain and glare. During warmer months, the large sliders open to the outdoors, and their screened openings help transform the communal spaces into “outdoor rooms,” while promoting cross-ventilation for passive cooling and thus eliminating the need for mechanical conditioning. A covered patio frames the view whether one is inside or out, and is connected to the front entry and carport by a continuous elevated deck. These elements work in unison to successfully blur the line between indoor and outdoor living. Comparatively, the Northern façade is less transparent and features smaller operable windows to provide privacy from the nearby road.
The simple material palette was selected to be extremely low maintenance, while helping the cabin blend with the surrounding natural landscape. The exterior is clad with charred Accoya that is long lasting, but also provides a subtle texture and variation in tone, much like the concrete below it. Inside, cedar-clad ceilings and custom walnut millwork bring a rustic warmth to the space and add some contrast against the bright white walls and countertops. Large format porcelain tiles cover the floor throughout - another low-maintenance and durable surface to combat against muddy shoes, dogs, ski equipment, and the general wear of country living. Leveraging the efficiencies of off-site construction, the Cornwall Cabin was designed and constructed to be a low-impact, sustainable weekend home that easily integrates with the surrounding rural community.