The Cabin by H2o Architects

The Cabin by H2o architects

Location: Les Menuires, France
Area: 600 sqft
Photo courtesy: Julien Attard

Our design team was invited to rethink a ski resort apartment in Menuires, France. Located at the far end of a building built in 1965, it has triple orientation that was not valued by the previous layout which was too segmented. The request was to realize the impossible : increase the living space without touching the structure, create 2bathrooms instead of the one existing, preserve the number of beds, 8 beds in 55m2, all while maintaining separate circulations for each.


To maximize the rather tight and constricted space, we chose to inverse the way of seeing it. Rather than trying to fit the furniture into the apartment, we decided to fit the apartment into the furniture ! However absurd this may seem, it immediately alleviated all the constraints linked to laying out tight spaces.


A large wooden curve runs through the entire space. It links all functions, creates a large living space and opens up the panoramic views on the mountains. This furniture-wall incorporates all the necessities of daily use interlocked into one another. Seating next to storage, stacked sleeping, a reading corner is attached to an interior window, the kitchen is back to back with a bathroom. It is the furniture element that defines the space. It is no longer cumbersome, rather it frees up a generous space around it and maximizes it’s primary functionalities.


The secondary system allows to privatise sleeping areas with curtains that roll into the existing central wall. The central space is all white, leading into the matching wrapping terrace. The interior atmosphere is inspired by the mountain and cabin feel, reinterpreted in a contemporary manner. The fun interlocking system is detailed into the minute such as sleeping spaces that one must climb into it to discover a reading lamp, a small tablet, storage and a comfortable and peaceful sleeping nook.


The entire installation is treated with a single and unique material, wood. Light-colored birch plywood for the interior spaces and American walnut plywood for the curved wall.


To accentuate the unity of the lived-in furniture-wall, every aspect of it is detailed from within. From the exterior, nothing denotes the destiny of this fun cabin in the mountains.

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