Boonville Cabin Kit
Winding through the woods of California’s Mendocino County are remnants of last century’s logging ‘skid trails’ –paths of least resistance to drag felled timber through the forest to market. These trails typically ran along contours of the land, creating broad swaths of clearings in their wake. Settlement along these skid trails created linear communities, or ‘landings,’ for loggers, timber, and provisions. The logger’s need for portable housing promoted the design of easily erected and mobile structures, which now inspires the Boonville Cabin Kit’s light-on-the-land model for modern forest living.
The logging camps of the area’s original 19th-century settlers inspired these 380 sq ft off-the-grid cabin prototypes. The nomadic loggers built scrappy camps along these forested routes, creating unique communities with a mobile, flexible, and economical approach to building. The logger’s cabins were seeds in the woods for larger camps –each with their own character and community. Over time, cabins morphed and altered to accommodate more permanent community functions such as meals and recreation. We built this potential for no-fuss customization and individuation into the DNA of our Cabin Kit.
Our Cabin Kit creates a low-cost, site-assembled structure from standard lumber yard materials on four bays between a series of scrappy moment frames. The redundancy of these frames stabilizes the cabin diaphragm and allows for a more flexible and customizable approach to the interior and exterior sheathing of the unit.
Narrow, site-built skylights graze light from above along the canted interior plywood walls, creating a calm and removed interior animated primarily through light.
Our stylized renderings for the project imagine the Boonville lumberjacks-of-old wandering out of the woods and coming upon the modern structures. We see them banding together to construct more cabins, gathering on their stoops, and amusing themselves in solitude after a long day’s work. Our vision is meant to evoke an anachronistic dreamlike mood of being lost in the woods. Please contact us for more detailed information.