Like the sprawling Natural Campsite of experimental structures, the most recent project from Chinese studio Advanced Architecture Lab is in the suburbs of Wuhan, China, and is also an unusual prefab cabin. Designed for a family of four as a vacation outpost, the Ark Cabin features a large triangular roof and thin rectangular body-the rudimentary shapes united to create a structure that's playful and odd in its woodland setting.
No trees were removed during the construction of the Ark cabin, and the organic topography and texture of the surrounding site were also left undisturbed. To further connect the structure to its natural environment, the cabin roof features extra-wide eaves under which a network of decks create plenty of room for outdoor living.
An open passageway through the center of the cabin creates two separate units on either end, giving the family private space within the modest footprint. In one end there's a reading room with a wood-burning fireplace, and in the other there's a living room, restroom, and staircase to the second floor.
Upstairs, two sleeping areas sit on either end of the loft, each beneath a unique pointed ceiling and skylight.
The entire structure was prefabricated using Finnish wood and cut in panels to resemble plywood. HVAC and other systems were hidden carefully behind the walls to create a clean, seamless finish insiside and out. The roof is made of carbonized wood shingles that were hand-fired in a method similar to the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique to create a layer of protection against the elements. At the ground level, the foundation is elevated so as not to disturb the forest floor underneath.
The clients themselves had a hand in building the cabin too, and report that the living conditions inside the small dwelling are like a five-star hotel. They hope to invite friends for a stay soon.