26th October 2020

I have a list of blog posts that I’ve been meaning to share, but sometimes you spot something randomly, and it seems to fit the mood of whatever you’ve been thinking about, right? The Mountain Refuge caught my eye when scrolling on Dezeen last week (you can see Dezeen’s feature here) for a few reasons. Like most people, we haven’t had a chance to escape this year, and ‘escape’ for us usually means going some place quiet, away from people, and spending a week or so just connected with nature. And this year, my desire for a more remote lifestyle has really kicked in. (I’m guessing that I’m not alone in this.) As we’ve grown more accustomed to being away from people, I’ve realised that this is how I’d like to live. Find me some place remote, by the sea, with a great broadband connection (the tricky bit), and I’ll be there. You can dream, right?

The Mountain Refuge is a tiny house concept that was designed by Italian architects Massimo Gnocchi and Paolo Danesi, who created this prefabricated cabin-style micro-home as “a contemporary interpretation of old traditional mountain refuges, bringing in architectural character and spatial quality.” With floor to ceiling glazing to maximise the views, the modular design allows for some variety in the configuration. The design can stand alone as one 24 metre-square space, or you could add a second module to create additional space. Inside, plywood cladding adds a warm and tactile finish that also feels clean and contemporary, while externally, the cabin’s plywood exterior would be coated with pine tar to weatherproof it.

These images are renders, which I’d never normally share here, but these speak to a current mood: a desire to escape, connect with the natural world, and to live quite simply with a ‘light’ footprint on the land as, notably, the architects designed this cabin not to require foundations unless the site dictated otherwise, in which case a thin concrete slab could be used.

Gnocchi and Danesi have launched a startup company with the hope of making The Mountain Refuge into a reality – you can find more information here. I’m always interested in reading the comments when I spot a conceptual design like this, and a couple stood out on the Dezeen feature regarding basic services (you can render a cabin in the middle of nowhere, but building it there is another matter entirely) and also ventilation with this expanse of glass. But I have come across some amazing small cabins online while looking at holiday properties in Scotland over the last few months, which have clearly answered all these questions, so maybe I need to be adding a few of those onto my forward planning blog post list.

​All imagery via Dezeen.

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