Architectural Inspo: Out of the Valley Oak Cabin

A sustainable, off-grid escape designed and built by a UK-based boat builder

Based in the UK and trained in traditional woodworking, designer Rupert McKelvie once made cabinets and classical wooden boats for a living. Now, he uses those same centuries old techniques to design and build unique sculptures, furnishings, and off-grid cabins. Through Out of the Valley, the name given to his cabin and furniture-building business, he marries his loves for traditional woodworking and sustainable design. Of the two designs he builds most, the simply named Oak Cabin is by far the standout. A beautiful example is shown here, resting in the Teign Valley, some three and a half hours southwest of London.

Designed to be self sustaining while leaving as light of a footprint as possible, the Oak Cabin was made entirely by hand with carefully selected, local materials, and is supported entirely by battery stored solar power and a wood powered convection stove. Inside the handsome stove and white washed solid ash kitchen are the main focal points, while a king size bed with built-in storage underneath hides in the corner. A modest mezzanine loft offers storage and a place for visitors to roll out a sleeping bag or two. The exterior is clad in charred cedar with a corrugated roof and steel guttering. A clever tensile canvas awning keeps the solid oak porch sheltered from weather when needed.

At just 6.7 x 3.6 meters, the humble, self sustaining cabin is a beautiful exercise in sustainably-minded, restrained design. Keep an eye on old Rupert McKelvie, he’ll surely continue to impress well into the future.

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