The essence of innovation is the process of taking old ideas and reinventing them. Since the site is located in New Brunswick, where it is the historical origin of the Acadians, the design of the cabin has taken inspiration from different elements of Acadian architecture. One of the most significant features of traditional Acadian houses is the materials taken from nature to construct the structure. The emphasis of our design is to use these traditional materials in an innovative manner. For example, the walls of the cabin is made of earth plastered straw bales, which are renewable and readily available in New Brunswick where agriculture is an integral part of the cultural heritage. The single wooden door at the front is inspired by Acadian architecture, where houses generally had very few openings. The form of a barn door is also a reflection of the site as a farmland. The exterior of the cabin is consisted of wood sidings, which is another common material in the region and blends in well with the surrounding forest.
As visitors step into the cabin, they are immediately greeted by a living wall, where vines grow on a support system reflective of the New Brunswick yurt structure. This living wall is the focal point of the cabin and it spatially defines the front and back spaces. As the vines grow and mature over time, the wall becomes more dense and visibility through the wall decreases, providing more privacy. Since the cabin can be accessed by snowshoe and cross-country ski in the winter, a rack is conveniently located by the front door for visitors to hang their equipment. A woodstove is also located in the front space to provide heating for the cabin where the stored firewood is easily accessible. With the firewood tucked in beneath the living wall, the overall concept of sustainability and innovation is exhibited in one continuous facade.
This void for firewood storage is only possible through the design of a loft space, which provides a comfortable resting area for two people above. The sliding glass doors at the back of the cabin allow natural light to come through and provide a beautiful view of the valley in the southwest direction. The visitors have the choice to either enjoy the view from the loft space, or go through the sliding doors to the balcony to experience nature firsthand. Above the balcony, a south-facing support system for photovoltaic panels is mounted on the roof. The angle of the photovoltaic panels can be adjusted to accommodate the changing angles of sunlight in each season, maximizing the potential of this increasingly popular green technology. Overall, as visitors move through the cabin, the experience of the design should serve as a reminder of the interconnectedness of technological innovation and environmental sustainability.
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- Site Plan