Editor’s Pick: Totem Hut
March 28, 2011
We are reaching the terminal stages of cabin fever here in New York, as the days get longer and yet the snow and frozen rain continues. This is that grey hour of the late winter when you plot your move to LA or Dallas, and every sentence you say to someone else starts with “This summer, when ….”
Moskow Linn Architects are a Boston-based office made up of Keith Moscow and Robert Linn. When the former inherited a piece of land in suburban Boston in 2008, he knew just what he would do with it. That’s because Moskow and Linn had, for almost two decades, been reinventing and rethinking a scheme that had somehow never found its way into the physical world. As a Dwell profile on the firm reports, the Swamp Hut had been reincarnated as a “an Architecture for Humanity competition entry, disaster housing proposal, eco-resort lodging plan, and as an all too appropriate submission to the Boston Society of Architects Unbuilt Architecture Awards.” But when the Walden Pond-esque inheritance came to him five years ago, the pair knew that Swamp Hut’s time had come.
The Swamp Hut is a light, spindly aggregation of four gabled huts, connected by a wooden deck. In the center of the deck, a raised firepit stands – as Moskow Linn says, after all, sleeping at the Hut is “glorified camping.” Each hut is made of a wooden frame, stabilized by pre-fab wooden trusses, and lined with transparent fiberglass that turns them into glowing, elemental shapes in the evenings. In keeping with the office’s sustainable bent, all materials were, whenever possible, sourced responsibly and carried to the site by hand. According to Dwell, the entire project cost just $7,500 – partially because they enlisted friends for help at the site and pre-fabricated as much of the work off-site as possible.
Programmatically, the huts are organized as follows:
- Cleansing Hut – positioned to the North the hut is the most enclosed with an aluminum roof.
- Sleeping Huts – positioned to the East and West, the sleeping huts have translucent roofs.
- Table Hut – positioned to the South, the hut is furnished with a table for eating and writing. This hut extends over the swamp and is the best location for wildlife observation. The hut has no roof.
- Central Deck – surrounded by the huts the central deck is an outdoor room.