A moss-topped hut in the rolling hills of Scotland’s eastern Highlands plays off of the local landscape and the architectural traditions of the area. It’s nestled at the foot of Culardoch Mountain, from which it draws its name: Culardoch Shieling. The shelter, with an unfinished larchwood exterior, simple design, and asymmetrical roof, calls upon the plain, rustic aesthetic of rural Scottish livestock holdings and farming crofts. It’s located in the overlap between Aberdeenshire and the Cairngorm National Park, which encompasses the stark, windswept Cairngorm Range. (Unlike national parks in the United States, development including private residences and businesses exists within the bounds of Cairngorm National Park.)
Designed by Moxon Architects, the hut is a private version of the traditional Scottish bothy, a shelter from the surrounding terrain and the characteristically cold and unforgiving weather in the region. Ben Addy, founder of Moxon, explained in an interview with Dezeen that they approached the project with “visual and environmental sensitivity in terms of position and form of the building and how it relates to the topography.” The result is a sturdy and unassuming structure that easily disappears into the rolling foothills surrounding it.
Inside, visitors will find a long dining table and an array of unusual windows that hearken back to Le Corbusier’s Ronchamp chapel. Placed seemingly at random, they frame specific views from different seats at the table, including the peaks of Ben Avon, the bends of the river Gairn, and the grassy flood plain. The spruce-lined interior is cozy and minimalistic, with a wood-burning stove for heat during cold winter months.
Golden eagles, mountain hares, and the rare Scottish wildcat call the Cairngorm National Park, in the eastern Highlands of Scotland, home. The park encompasses the Cairngorm range, mountains characterized by high plateaus and low, glacier-formed peaks. The park’s unique alpine semi-tundra moorland habitat and its size—over 1.1 million acres, larger than Glacier National Park—make it an ideal home for dozens of rare species, and it’s a favorite spot for wildlife-watchers. Depending on the time of year, more adrenaline-driven visitors can climb, hike, bike, and ski within the park, too.
Images courtesy of Moxon Architects.
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.