BABELstudio designs a “typical” forest cabin in the Basque Country

BABELstudio designs a “typical” forest cabin in the Basque Country

Architecture practice BABELstudio has completed the Aralar House, a black Basque log cabin with a hinged side that opens the interior to the surrounding forest.

A cabin surrounded by lush vegetation in the Sierra de Aralar was designed by BABELstudio for a couple based in Bilbao who enjoy carpentry and hiking.

It has a deliberately simple design, intended to replicate the shape of an old 20-square-metre tool shed that previously occupied the site.

BABELstudio has completed the Aralar country house in the Basque Country

Although none of the existing tool shed could be retained, the studio was required by planning regulations to maintain the same footprint and size.

The clients asked BABELstudio to provide a place where they could stay the night as well as work, creating a cabin split in half lengthwise.

On one side there is a “comfortable sleeping area” and on the other there is a carpentry workshop.

It has a hinged side that opens the interior to the surrounding forest

“The distinctively classical image of the forest hut refers to traditional storage buildings in the Aralar region and, in shape and size, to a characteristically archetypal image of a gable-roofed hut,” studio director Michael Schmidt told Dezeen.

“Not least because this approach was driven by local building regulations that do not allow any changes in cubic volume,” he added.

In the workshop half of Aralar Cottage, the hinged side wall can be opened completely. This provides easy access to bring logs and tools but also aims to create a close connection with the surrounding nature.

On the other side, two large windows in one corner frame a seating area around a fireplace with views of the forest. The bed occupies the darker end of the cabin.

Aralar Cottage features black wood paneling

The wooden structure of Aralar Cottage sits slightly elevated on a thin concrete base, and on the outside the wooden panels have been given a black finish “to achieve a greater abstraction of the forms” against the green background.

Inside, the modular cabin concept is reflected in the wood finishes throughout, along with minimal fixtures and fittings in the bedroom space and simple shelving and seating in the workshop.

The sleeping area has two large windows

“The goal was to find a construction method that was as simple as possible, a kind of construction tool so to speak, and this was also very necessary given the hut’s remote location,” director Andrea García Crespo told Dezeen.

“We wanted this approach to simplicity to also be reflected in the materiality itself, not just in the spaces themselves. The black-stained exterior pine is the same wood used inside,” she added.

BABELstudio also made use of black wood finishes in the design of the restaurant and chef’s house near Bilbao, which the studio designed in collaboration with Bonadona Arquitectura.

Other cabins recently featured on Dezeen include a hotel room made from locally sourced materials and secured with straps and a redwood-clad structure with a curved roof.

Photography by Biderbost Photo.

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