Just when we think we’ve seen it all when it comes to tiny cabins in the woods, Ark Shelter has developed a unique concept that turns their simple shelter into an immersive experience. The Into the Wild tiny cabin has hidden secrets that allows visitors to edit their interior environment, resulting in changing views of the surrounding forest.
For three years, Ark Shelter has been refining their tiny cabin concept from the very first with the installation of Into the Wild in Kysuce, North Slovakia. For Michiel De Backer and Martin Mikovčák, the architects behind Ark Shelter, the driving force of their creation was the desire to reconnect with nature in a way that contemporary cabins lack. No television, no internet, no phones. Just you, your cabin, and the wilderness.
But in the age of constant stimulation, how do you keep visitors happy? The key was allowing the cabin to be edited by each new visitor. This was done through sliding panels and plenty of windows that frame views of the forest from anywhere in the cabin. The panels can be opened or closed to reveal or hide the windows, changing the view of the outside according to the visitor’s whim. Windows were also carefully placed for maximum impact. From the wall of glass in the sitting area looking out to a hill of green grass, to the skylight above the sleeping loft framing the night sky, each space in the cabin turns the surrounding landscape into a piece of art.
With an appreciation of nature being the driving concept, De Backer and Mikovčák wanted to ensure their cabin was also friendly to the environment. High-efficiency window glazing allows the interior temperature to remain constant, keeping the space warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Spruce wood was used throughout the build and stained black on the outside to blend into the dark green of the forest and left natural on the inside to create a bright, airy space. Keeping these interior finishes simple lets the outside views remain the focus. Into the Wild is a concept cabin, so it is lacking a few sustainable features such as solar power and a rainwater collection system, but the architects say these can easily be added on.
Just because the interior of the cabin was kept simple, doesn’t mean the space is boring. Along with the sleeping loft and sitting area with its wall of glass, there is a kitchenette stained in black to match the exterior, a spa-like shower, and best of all, a hidden hot tub. In the back of the cabin is a simple bedroom, with a bed in the middle of the floor. But by raising the bed’s platform up into the ceiling, a jacuzzi is revealed – which is the best possible “choose your own adventure” feature.
Want to have your own Into the Wild cabin? Ark Shelter has turned their concept into a line of customizable, off-grid tiny houses called Shelter. Each structure includes a sleeping area, living area, kitchen, and bathroom. They also feature fold-out decks for relaxing outside. You choose the layout that works for you, but all include their signature look and the ability to open and close wood panels allowing you to edit your views and privacy level. The Shelter model doesn’t offer the loft bed and hidden jacuzzi of Into the Wild, but Ark Shelter is working to develop the Nature Merger line which will have the same upgrades as Into the Wild.
That’s the model we are holding out for.
For other off-grid places to rest and relax, check out Sweden’s VIPP Shelter Hotel, a human ‘recharging’ station.