Two Cantilever Cabins

An unusual pair of Scandinavian cabins, situated purposefully to take advantage of the sun and scenery!

Approx 14m² and 20m² (150ft² & 215ft²)

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A rendered view showing the balcony on the larger cabin. Note the sun shuttering above.

The general idea was to build two separate but similar cabins on a fictional rocky outcrop on a coastline somewhere in Europe. The style is very similar to some modern cabins found particularly in Scandinavian regions which is where I found my inspiration. The larger of the two cabins is the main residence, whilst the smaller structure is the studio; the pair being connected by a meandering boardwalk.

The most crucial element as always (in my opinion, that is) was siting the building correctly. As I was working with a fictional location in mind, I had more choice over this than might otherwise be the case. Regardless, the buildings were orientated so that they faced mainly south to make the most out of the sunlight. To prevent the structures causing unwanted shadows on one another, they were angled around 90 degrees apart. As a bonus, this also creates a wider view towards the south between the two buildings.

I envisaged this as predominantly an artists' residence and studio, but it could equally be used by almost anyone, especially those in creative fields. Alternately, with a few changes to the studio building, the pair could be used as a holiday home - all that would need changing is the addition of a bed where the work area of the studio currently is. Both buildings feature at least one balcony for use mainly in the summer months, but also copious amounts of full height doors and glazing to make the most of the views.

The meandering boardwalk links the two cabins together, and also features a short jetty.
The larger cabin features balconies on both ends, but the smaller studio does not; as the wetroom is situated at the rear.
Rather than have a flat boardwalk, I chose to have one that follows the landscape. As the location is so remote, I have only added steps; but slopes will be more suitable for more accessible areas.
Being on their own tiny rocky island, the cabins are only accessible by boat - hence the need for a jetty!
A slightly elevated view of the jetty and boardwalk. Note also the large full-height and panorama windows on both cabins.
A plan view of the residence; showing the slim but long nature of the building.
A plan view of the studio, giving an idea of one possible layout and use.

As has been noted elsewhere, both cabins have an open-plan layout. They also both have a wetroom, although the studios' wetroom is larger because it is not restricted by a corridor unlike the residence, which needs access to the bedroom at the rear. As the two cabins are designed to be used in tandem, this should be less of an issue.

The residence features two balconies - one accessible from the bedroom, and one from the living room. Both are accessed via full-height and width glass doors. From this aerial view we can see just how small the wetroom is, but it is a necessary compromise to keep the design simple. It's still quite usable though. The kitchen is L-shaped, maximising the space whilst still giving plenty of open room; being the entry point. A few steps lead up into the living room, helping to separate the spaces.

The studio exchanges the upper "living room" for an artist's area, and even includes its own large sink unit. The large glass balcony door offers plenty of inspiring views - making it an ideal place for creative work. I've shown an easel and paint rack here, although it doesn't take much to imagine it with other furniture for a different use. Note that the log burning stove is still present. Downstairs, we have the same sofa and coffee table from the residence, albeit with a set of cupboards on the wetroom wall.

The boardwalk side of the larger cabin has full height windows, including a tri-fold door. In the bedroom, a panoramic window makes for good views whilst sat up in bed!
The cabin is a 9.6m x 3m structure (not including the two balconies which each protrude 1m further), built from two trapezoid cross-sectioned halves joined together to form a shallow 'V' shape. Half of each section is cantilevered over the foreshore which appears to create a sense of floating in the air when you're inside. This cantilever also creates the raised floor levels above them - helping to split up the space without actually having to box in each room using walls. This keeps the interior light and airy no matter the time of day.

Siting the bathroom just past the midway point of the cabin gives a natural break between the living areas and sleeping area, and means it can be shut off easily for privacy whilst still retaining a private balcony. The kitchen has plenty of storage despite its small size, and it even has room for a full height fridge. A small breakfast bar makes up for the lack of a dining table, and also doubles as a small workstation . The lounge area has room for a decent sized sofa, coffee table and also features a log burner for cold winter nights. The full height sliding/folding glass doors open up the room to the outside views.
Here's the far side of the larger cabin. This side features smaller windows, mostly in panoramic form, except for the bathroom window which is much smaller.
A sketch looking at the compact wetroom. There's just enough room for a toilet, basin, shower, and vanity.
An overview looking from the living area to the compact kitchen. The open-plan nature of the cabin becomes apparent; with steps separating each of the areas.
Looking at the kitchen, we can see that it is the first room as you enter the cabin. Note how the flooring matches that of the outside wooden deck (just visible through the glass doors).
Like all the rooms, the living room is compact, but still functional. It's fair to say that whilst the cabin is nice, it's the balcony and view that are the real 'wow-factors'!
Quite why I put a TV in here I'm still not sure! But at least it shows that you can fit one in if you should want to. More sensibly, there is space above for an array of books, and a log burner to keep the chilly winters at bay!
In the corner of the kitchen by the doors there is a small breakfast bar (just visible bottom right). From here, we have a great view straight through to the rear of the studio, and thence the sea.
Despite appearances, the bedroom actually has a door. In order to maximise space, the door actually slides into the wall when not in use. OK, so furniture is sparse, but there is at least space for a double bed and a large wardrobe.
Another view looking from the living room divider to the kitchen and beyond to the outdoors. This shows just how much natural light is available; as those tri-fold doors are full-width!

Here's a slightly grainy render looking at the artist studio. Note how open and bright the space is, as well as the blinds on the far doors to better control the light.
Looking from the bottom of the short flight of steps up to the artist's area. Note the fantastic views available in all directions. The sink unit is a bit overkill considering the wetroom is close by, but it at least shows there is room for it!
As we reach the top of the steps, you are further drawn to the sea view! The log burner undoubtedly makes things even cosier...
Turning around, we can see that the slope of the roof draws our eye down to the lounge area.
Going back down the stairs, we once again see that the narrow cabin is offset by the huge amount of glass - helping the inside feel like part of the outside. There are plenty of storage cupboards here, along with a whiteboard, sofa, and coffee table.

The cabin is a 6.4m x 3m structure, comprising of two sections - the main studio space (which is the same size as half of the cabin), plus an additional wetroom on the back. It also features full height sliding/folding doors on the balcony and the side wall, plus another log burner to keep it warm in the winter months.

The lower area of the main space is, in this example, in use as a lounge area. This includes a storage chest, whiteboard, bookshelf, plenty of storage cupboards, and a sofa and coffee table. The sofa enjoys a view across the boardwalk to the ocean. The wetroom makes this studio perfect for messy hobbies, our perhaps cleaning off outdoor sports gear etc. It also means should this structure be turned into a guest room, there is easy access to a bathroom without having to brave the outdoors in the middle of the night to go to the cabin.

In this example, the upper area is the hobby/work area of an artist - with an easel, drying rack, and a utility sink filling up the space. In reality, it would probably be best to get rid of the sink as it reduces the amount of usable space - and since you already have a wetroom in this structure it is not strictly necessary. Blinds control the amount of light coming in through the full height glass sliding/folding doors. The images below show another possible use; borrowing furniture from my previous carriage design, I've turned it into an architectural design office (with a view!)

An alternate layout and use of the studio is shown here as an architect's office. It doesn't take much to adapt it to your needs...
An alternate layout and use of the studio is shown here as an architect's office. It doesn't take much to adapt it to your needs...

Whilst the cantilever makes for a more complex build, it wouldn't be a far stretch to imagine the basic shell as having the potential for modular approach - particularly if the sub-base was made using steel sections instead of concrete. The larger structure above is made from two identically sized/shaped sections - one being a combined kitchen/lounge, and the other a combined bedroom/wetroom. I can imagine multiple such sections being placed around a central "hub" module - the number of sides would depend on the number of additional units needed. A triangular section obviously resulting in a 3-pronged building for example. Other potential ideas included adding skylights to bring in even more natural light, solar panels or other alternative renewable energy sources onto the roof, and even a covered or semi-covered walkway to join the two structures together in place of the boardwalk. I can imagine a corridor clad mainly in glass with the occasional pillar surrounded in the same cladding as the exterior of the structures would not only look great, but would also make for a pleasant way to seperate the cabin and studio whilst minimising visual impact on the natural landscape.

A render looking at the bedroom of the main cabin. It's very white! A pop of colour here and there wouldn't go amiss, but it's an easy problem to solve!
The kitchen of the main cabin has wooden worktops, steps, and posts to give some much needed colour and rough texture.
The balcony must be a relaxing place to sit and dangle your feet over the edge as you admire the sea view! Glimpses of the studio can be seen through the full-height windows.
With the tri-fold doors open, we get a good idea of how nature is let in, with the wooden floor and deck merging into one.
The final view looks from the sofa of the main cabin. A real light and airy space...
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