Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Cabin on a Rock in Lincoln, New Hampshire by I-KANDA ARCHITECTS
March 12th, 2018 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: I-KANDA ARCHITECTS
For the owner of Q-Drinks, a company specializing in making superior cocktail sodas out of only authentic ingredients, it was imperative that the design for a weekend retreat nestled in the mountains of New Hampshire, be equally authentic.
The White Mountains are amongst the most rugged in New England, with granite outcroppings populating the range. While the site, selected on one of several scouting hikes, was seemingly treacherous and unbuildable, the design solution by I-Kanda Architects proves this untrue.
The 900 square-foot cabin perches on one such piece of granite, projecting precariously over a steep drop-off to afford dramatic eastern views across the valley below. Instead of leveling the granite ledge, the topography is embraced; the structure is lifted on 9 hand-poured concrete footings – a system selected in order to tread lightly on the sloped site. Working with Fire Tower Engineered Timber and Bensonwood, all wood framing members were engineered and CNC-cut before being delivered to site wrapped, labeled, and ready for assembly, thus shortening construction time and reducing site disturbance. Once construction was complete, minimal trees were cleared – just enough to provide specific views of the prominent peaks through a 24-ft wide sliding glass window-wall.
It was not only the site that would prove to be complicated; the cabin design was initially conceived as a rugged weekend getaway for 2. However, during the course of the design process, the 2 grew to become a family of 3, then 4. The growing needs of the young family required maximizing the footprint while responding to the strictly limited availability of granite on which to build.
The faceted geometry of the cabin reflects this evolution – a cantilevering form that is both elemental yet appears to be in constant transformation depending on one’s vantage point. It is shaped both by its surroundings and by its occupants, making a lasting connection between what is there and what is to come.
In the initial discussions with Bensonwood, we considered treating this cabin as a prototype for future mass production. Hence our design process was empowered by prefabrication technologies and techniques, allowing a freedom to explore complex geometries, renouncing the often heard limitation of a design “being too complicated or expensive to build”.
With this project, we were able to do more for the cost of conventional construction – an alternative take on the conception that prefab simply allows one to do the same for cheaper. Enhanced by skewed geometries and bold angles, the end product is truly customized, both for the client and for a uniquely precarious site.
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