The traditional log cabin isn’t so much utilitarian as a marriage of convenience: It was more convenient to marry fallen trees together than any other form of construction. For heck of a long time, that’s how things remained. But then the 20th century brought modern architecture into the woods and the economic boom of the 90s and internet boom of the 00s brought a flood of wealth and over the last 20 years the two come together big time. The “modern cabin” is its own vernacular now.
Our hunger for the familiar and comforting are strong, of course. Hard-edged shelters like the Case Inlet retreat, located on the eastern side of South Puget Sound with views to the Olympics across the water, don’t generate the same emotion as a cabin like this. The reaction is more of an aesthetic one, then, and I like to view modernist cabins as artistic statements and exercises in form, line, and shape. And in their own way, they often offer a better intertidal zone between the natural and the manmade. Floor to ceiling glass. A view of mountains seen all the way through the house. A roof line that mirrors the horizon or a wall that slides open to make a living room feel like a deck. It’s a different response, but I could be just as happy with it.
Weekend Cabin isn’t necessarily about the weekend, or cabins. It’s about the longing for a sense of place, for shelter set in a landscape…for something that speaks to refuge and distance from the everyday. Nostalgic and wistful, it’s about how people create structure in ways to consider the earth and sky and their place in them. It’s not concerned with ownership or real estate, but what people build to fulfill their dreams of escape. The very time-shortened notion of “weekend” reminds that it’s a temporary respite.