Steel Cabin Design by Olson Kundig Architects, Modern Houses

Unique steel cabin in the woods The Delta Shelter is designed by Olson Kundig Architects, an srchitectural design studio in Seattle. 1,000 square foot cabin is located in Mazama in the Methow Valley of the Methow River in Washington, USA.


The cabin rises above the flood plain adjacent to the river, providing beautiful views of the picturesque hills and forest. Simple and spacious small house design by Olson Kundig Architects, www.olsonkundigarchitects.com/ is a wonderful retreat for nature lovers.


Compact and easy to maintain, steel cabin offers a great place for gathering with friends, having fun and resting after adventurous trips in the mountains. Strong and durable small house design offer pleasant interiors decorated with wood.


Steel cabin design


small house design

Small house design, box-like cabin


House design description from architects


This 1,000 square-foot cabin is essentially a steel-clad box on stilts that can be completely shuttered when the owner is away. The 200 square-foot footprint of the house rises above a 40-acre, 100-year flood plain adjacent to the Methow River. The verticality, coloring and raw nature of the materials used for construction directly respond to the wildness of the setting. The owner sought a compact, easy to maintain, virtually indestructible building to house himself and his friends for fun and adventure in the mountains. With an exterior of steel, the house is virtually indestructible.




The cabin is composed of three levels: the lowest level is half carport, half utility/storage room; the middle level consists of the entry, two small bedrooms and bathrooms; the top level is one large space which includes living, dining and cooking areas. Cantilevered steel decks extend from the top and middle levels and provide space for outdoor sleeping and entertaining.


metal and wood for interior design

Metal and wood for cabin interior design


The cabin is supported by four steel columns. Floors are 3” x 6” tongue-and-groove wood car-decking, and exterior wood infill walls are clad in 16-gauge, hot-rolled steel sheets with exposed steel fasteners. Most of the structure, including the steel structure, roof panels, shutters, and stairs, was prefabricated off-site, thereby reducing on-site waste and site disruption.


rustic cabin

Cabin interiors, small house design


Due to prefabrication and the use of plywood for all interior surfaces, typical construction wastage was kept to a minimum. Aside from building as small a structure as possible and limiting the impact on the landscape, Delta Shelter’s most unique sustainable strategy was to be able to open the structure to the environment and to use human power as the means to do it.


wooden walls

Wooden walls, simple interior design


All four shutters, which measure 10’ x 18’, can be opened and closed simultaneously by using a hand wheel that moves the shutters over the glazed portions of each fa├žade. The shutters are operated by a series of mechanical devices including a hand wheel, drive shafts, u-joints, spur gears and cables. All windows are operable. No air conditioning is included in the project.





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