Friday Cabins #73: How to Cabin with Care
This prefab cabin in Madrid, Spain hosts a migrant couple and their bird neighbors
Happy end of the week! Even though it was very short, you still deserve a pat on the back for making it. We're here with another Friday Cabins, a weekly newsletter where we cover all things cabins for the outdoor-loving and design obsessed. So join us, why don't ya.
Hope everyone had a good long weekend! The sun is finally out here in NYC, which means beach and park days galore, or another popular New Yorker past-time—laying around the apartment and complaining about how hot it is. However you choose to indulge, we salute you.
In other news, after three years as an editor at Field Mag and one year as your primary Friday Cabins newsletter host, I'm excited to announce I’ve accepted a new position at fellow design rag Dezeen, and thus will be passing the reigns back to Field Mag/Cabins Etc founder Graham Hiemstra, who will take over the weekly installment moving forward. I’ll miss popping into your inbox every week! But don’t worry, you can trust this old ‘sletter will still deliver the goods you’ve come to love and crave far into the future.
And so, for my final share, I bring you a cabin from outside Madrid, Spain that’s all the best parts of cabin life and good design—tucked away in the woods, sustainable, takes care of its users’ specific needs, and best of all, gives back to nature. Plus, it makes use of bright colors, something you don’t normally see in cabin design.
So scroll on and enjoy the rest of this short week!
Located in a pine forest in the Western Sierra of Madrid, Spain, the (Synanthro) Love Shack by Husos Architects is a multi-functional live/work cabin designed for a migrant couple and their extended family.
The cabin also takes care of the surrounding site, which sits next to a Special Protection Area for birds, by combating the increasing population of the Pine Processionary Moth, a destructive (and slightly terrifying) insect responsible for deforestation in Europe.
To accommodate human occupants, the cabin features a prefabricated main structure made of local pinewood. Each room in the cabin serves multiple purposes, so the home-owners can transform their small space for to host visiting friends and family.
At the heart of the cabin is the kitchen and living room, a colorful space with double-height ceilings, a clerestory window to let in light, and sliding glass doors that lead out onto a deck. A metal cage surrounds the small outdoor space in order to protect birds from flying into the glass doors.
Elsewhere, a small room serves as a multifunctional office/bedroom and a lofted alcove is the master bedroom. The rooftop outdoor space acts as an additional living area, equipped with a hammock and a large screen for video calls back home to South America. Wedges of Jacaranda wood, painted in the purple of its flower, act as a privacy screen outdoors.
To accommodate local bird species, the architects installed a series of birdhouses surrounding the cabin. Natural predators to the Pine Processionary Moth, the small structures provide additional habitat for the birds in the hopes that they'll decrease the moth population.
An innovative and thoughtful project, the Love Shack proves how architects and clients can come together to design a space that not only meets the needs of people, but nature, too.