Architecture In The Wild: These Are Some Sweet Pads!

Categories: Homes / Dwellings

Affluent adventurers with a taste for clean design are leaving the lap of luxury of and heading to simple huts in the wilderness, says design critic Marcus Fairs.

It's a curious and counter-intuitive new trend, explains Fairs, the founder and editor-in-chief of international architecture and design publisher Dezeen.
Often creatures of comfort, the globally mobile rich have started to flee the clutter of contemporary urban life and take up temporary residence in dangerous, challenging, and inhospitable locations, with as-little-as-possible standing between them and the landscape.
"There's definitely a trend for minimalist architecture being built in remote wilderness areas at the moment" says Fairs. "If you look at Scandinavia, where there has long been a tradition of people having a cabin in the forest, or beside a lake, recently people have been designing super-clinical, super-minimal versions of these."
Today, Dezeen maps minimal retreats on four corners of the globe, from an alpine shelter on a rocky Slovenian precipice to a pair of blackened timber cabins by the Tasman Sea on New Zealand's north-west coast.
The design -- though minimal -- offers a blank slate for architects to experiment wildly, often for adventurous clients. What unites these disparate projects are the striking surroundings.
Today's minimal retreats are making an impression on the silver screen.
These sparse shelters, too, have become inhabited by questionable characters. While the ESO Hotel starred in 2008 James Bond film Quantum of Solace (as the scene of 007's showdown with criminal cartel), this year's blockbuster Ex Machina centered on the Juvet Landscape Hotel in north-west Norway.
In real life, the hotel, which sits above a glacial river, appears little more than a cluster of cabins, which can be rented out as hotel rooms. But in the sci-fi thriller, it is center of some unscrupulous experiments with futuristic artificial intelligence.
"They chose this hotel to represent (a reclusive millionaire genius') own private bolthole in the landscape," explains Fairs. "Which, again, is a symptom of people's need to escape from their own hectic urban lives an enjoy almost a meditative experience of the landscape: where their experience is uninterrupted by everyday noise and color and mess. And they just surround themselves with a minimalist palette of concrete, glass and wood."

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