This endearingly basic micro-cabin was created by architect Michael Quirk to showcase the effectiveness of green building techniques. It is known as the Magnolia Eco-Cabin and runs off-the-grid using solar power. It was constructed using recycled and locally obtained materials.
The cottage in Nederland, Colorado, is 120 square feet (11 square metres) in size and is located in a forest. While serving as a board member for the Colorado Green Building Guild, Quirk developed the concept for the design.
“The carbon negative, eco tiny home was an idea that I came up with while on the Colorado Green Building Guild board, to highlight some of our members who are building material suppliers and also carbon negative/net zero energy building techniques,” he told us. “The cabin is successful in sequestering carbon through the organic nature of the materials used to build it.”
The exterior of the cottage is finished with a combination of birch plywood from the area, previously used treated cedar shiplap siding, and some pine wood siding that was charred using the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique to protect and preserve it. A few metal panels that Quirk had leftover from prior architectural projects were also put to use. Also recycled are the windows and doors. Hemp wool and hempcrete are combined to provide the insulation.
The cabin’s interior is relatively simple and only has two rooms, which are distributed across two stories. The basement is occupied by a firewood storage room, a wood-burning fireplace for warmth, as well as a dining/work table with a chair next to the window that overlooks a lovely view of the forest. It seems really cosy in there.
Access to the Magnolia Eco-lone Cabin’s bedroom is made possible by a few stairs with integrated storage and a tiny ladder. This bedroom resembles a traditional tiny home bedroom in that it has a double bed, glazing, and a low ceiling.
Batteries are connected to the array of solar panels on the roof to maintain power when the sun is not shining. Unfortunately, the cabin doesn’t have running water, a bathroom or a kitchen, so it’s probably better viewed as a weekend retreat rather than a permanent residence.