Sandra Vivanco, AIA, SEED
Cabin Fever

We were inspired by the procession that is the experiential and mental journey to the site, which we sought to recreate architecturally. In leaving the city to travel to the site one must peel off layers of electronic devices and unnecessary clothing. There is a required lightness that in the precursor to a primal desire to commune with nature. Very present as well are the ideas of play, adventure, fantasy, and contemplation.

The design team proposes to engage the path from the existing upper cabin and continue it into our proposed cabin project. The lattice system frames our views as an architectural interpretation of the experience of being surrounded by trees. Our View Mistress provides a climbing surface that acts as an extension of the procession into the roof, reenacting the climbing of a tree. The roof facets transform into a subtly inclined surface that provides a special view of the reservoir. Every exterior surface is defined by a natural body position that in turn informs the interior of the building designed to frame enticing views of the reservoir only through the lattice system. The entry point is defined by a peeling off of this crenellated surface. When in use the building opens up to nature to supply an even stronger connection to the forest but can also be sealed for colder seasons or between stays.

In an effort to adapt to the surrounding slopes the vegetation the structure and form of View Mistress was derived by manipulating a basic cube. It doesn’t seeks to mimetize with nature but it is based on a sympathetic tectonic strategy that derives its power from a playful interpretation of the mystery and calm that emanates from the forest.