This blackened timber cabin is a truly minimalist retreat: Located in upstate New York and designed by JacobsChang Architecture, this quaint one-room structure has no piped water, no electricity, and no vehicular access. It measures just 360 square feet and sits on a 60-acre site, making it is the ultimate back-to-nature escape.
The design team says that the owner wanted a structure that could be built by “amateur weekend builders” on a $20,000 budget. To save costs, a majority of construction materials were sourced from the property, including the interior and exterior wooden cladding, which was made from the site’s felled Eastern Pines. The topography of the site is pretty tricky, so the cabin is lifted above the ground and relies on support from surrounding trees—hence the name: Half-Tree House.
Inside the cabin, the whitewashed walls contrast with the weatherproof Scandinavian pine-tar exterior and the floors are sealed to retain a natural aesthetic. Three floor-to-ceiling pivoting windows (the cabin’s largest expense) allow for sprawling views of the woods and make the one-room space appear more spacious. The southernmost window even doubles as the cabin’s entrance, and when they’re open, fresh air is able to naturally circulate throughout the room.
Keeping with the cabin’s minimalist style, the interior houses just a bed, an armchair, and a small area for preparing meals. It’s heated by a Jotul wood-burning stove. The simplest details complete the space, like a potted plant in the cabin’s corner, a skinned rug in front of a mounted wooden coat cook by the southern entrance, and a white mosquito net over the bed that conveniently doubles as stylish decor.
And while this compact cabin is surely a great dose of inspiration for minimalist living, it’s still reassuring that there’s a handy generator accessible for power, you know, just in case.