Compact Studio Cabin Designed For Two Architects With A Love For Music

Just another typical cabin in the woods…right? Well, it may seem so at first but there’s much about this structure that isn’t typical. First of all, the location may seem secluded but its neighbors are close-by. Then there’s also the design. The triangular frame is not exactly common even though A-frame designs are actually popular among small houses and cabins in general, especially the modern kind. These elements and several others had to be carefully considered by the architects at when started this project in 2017.

Although it may look like a typical cabin in the woods, secluded and forgotten, it actually has some close neighbors View in gallery
Although it may look like a typical cabin in the woods, secluded and forgotten, it actually has some close neighbors
All the trees that surround the cabin help to block the sunlight and to ensure a cool and well-ventilated interiorView in gallery
All the trees that surround the cabin help to block the sunlight and to ensure a cool and well-ventilated interior
The cabin's triangular structure is most noticeable at night when the lights are on and the A-frame is highlightedView in gallery
The cabin’s triangular structure is most noticeable at night when the lights are on and the A-frame is highlighted

The cabin is located in Kerala, In India and measures 46 square meters across. It only took the architects 2 months to build it and that included an unforeseen delay caused by heavy rain. Their clients were a couple of architects with an interest in music and painting. They wanted this to be their home studio, a place where they can work, practice music and relax.

At the back, the interior space extends outside through a small deck with a lovely pergolaView in gallery
At the back, the interior space extends outside through a small deck with a lovely pergola
The interior is well-connected to the exterior through large glass openings at the endsView in gallery
The interior is well-connected to the exterior through large glass openings at the ends

Given the requirements, the interior had to be flexible so the architects structured it on two levels. There’s a ground floor where the work area, the music practice space and a discussion zone are situated and there’s also an attic which serves as a leisure area. The interior as a whole is modern and compact.

The whole design is really well-balanced in more than one way and that has to do with cost, looks and functionalityView in gallery
The whole design is really well-balanced in more than one way and that has to do with cost, looks and functionality
The interior of the cabin is organized in two zones, the ground floor and the attic spaceView in gallery
The interior of the cabin is organized in two zones, the ground floor and the attic space
The ground floor is where the workspace and music practice area are situatedView in gallery
The ground floor is where the workspace and music practice area are situated

The architects faced a series of challenges along the way. The budget and the construction time were both major concerns which they dealt with successfully. One of the solutions was to eliminate the need for a heavy foundation by not giving the attic any walls and dividers since the triangular profile didn’t require any. The long and steep sloping roof frames the cabin and gives it a compact and at the same time practical character.

Given the reduced overall dimensions, the interior is small but cozy and that makes it quite charmingView in gallery
Given the reduced overall dimensions, the interior is small but cozy and that makes it quite charming
The music practice area is part of a small open plan which is closely linked to the workspace and discussion areaView in gallery
The music practice area is part of a small open plan which is closely linked to the workspace and discussion area

To further reduce the cost of the project, the materials were kept simple. This included the use of reclaimed laterite, recycled steel, terra-cotta, cement board, MDF, plywood and glass. The studio doesn’t have huge, frameless openings on its sides but instead features gable windows which ensure natural ventilation throughout and which let in a good amount of natural light while providing shade.

Gable windows on the ground floor ensure natural ventilation for this area as well as for the attic spaceView in gallery
Gable windows on the ground floor ensure natural ventilation for this area as well as for the attic space
The attic serves as a leisure area and has a hanging chair and a sleeping mattressView in gallery
The attic serves as a leisure area and has a hanging chair and a sleeping mattress

The attic serves as an insulator for the ground floor, keeping the space cool and cozy. The tall trees block the sun quite effectively so the attic is not that hot either which brings us back to our initial thought. This is a really well-balanced design both from a structural and aesthetic point of view.

The attic has no dividing walls and that meant there was no need for a heavy foundationView in gallery
The attic has no dividing walls and that meant there was no need for a heavy foundation
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