What draws us out into the wild, away from what has become our new "natural" habitat? The creators of the cabins, shacks and shelters featured in The Hinterland reveal the answers, all of them sharing a desire to part from the busyness of urban life and to rekindle a lost connection with nature. They have done so in a variety of ways, with great sensitivity to both setting and style.

Below, we offer a small taste of what the book has inside...


Four cabins teeter over the deep blue waters of Manshausen Island in Norway, the site for each once a quay for the island's fishing trade. The cabins were commissioned by well-known Polar explorer Børge Ousland for use by other Arctic Circle explorers and outdoor devotees and were designed by architect Snorre Stinessen.

Glazed with floor to ceiling windows at the front and clad at the rear, each has a simple anatomy, employing a double layer of timber in which the outside greys over time and the inside remains blonde.

Just like the structures, the interiors are as unobtrusive as possible... clean and calm in yet more wood, allowing the awe-inspiring scenery to be the star of the show.

The Quayside Explorer's Shelter
The Quayside Explorer's Shelter
Image: Steve King/'The Hinterland'


Careful not to compete with its natural setting, this contemporary holiday home celebrates its position between the Mediterranean Ocean and its rocky coastline.

Designed by Atelier D'Architecture Aurélie Barbey, the property consists of a main house and three small huts using timber and concrete as their main material of choice.

Nature, in the form of a dry, craggy landscape, creeps in through picture windows and generous doors that slide away out of sight, capitalising on space and blurring the boundary between inside and out.

The Corsican seaside cabin
The Corsican seaside cabin
Image: Matthieu Salvaing/'The Hinterland'


Nearly 400m above the Sacred Valley in Peru, a night's sleep can be had for thrill-seeking climbers of the Via Ferrata mountain trail. Skylodge offers a room in the form of three transparent pods that are suspended by cables from the cliff face, with views of the valley below. Gaining access is no mean feat though, with the option of climbing the steel cable and rung route or braving a series of ziplines.

An architecturally and structurally advanced shelter, the pods are made from polycarbonate and aerospace aluminium, allowing climbers a connection to the landscape that's both real and lasting.

The Peruvian Climbers' Capsule
The Peruvian Climbers' Capsule
Image: Ario Ferri/Natura Vive/'The Hinterland'


Stationed waterside on a car-free island outside New York, this 1945 A-frame was bought from its first owners and creators.

The desire to get away from Manhattan's bustle led Ann Stephenson and her partner Lori Scacco to Fire Island. They refurbished the petite, shingled cottage, now called Far House, maximising on its limited space with white paint and filling it with vintage finds and inherited pieces.

A manually pulled cart aids in the transportation of goods and supplies between the ferry and the house, hence the low-key furnishings.

The Fire Island A-Frame
The Fire Island A-Frame
Image: Kate Sears/'The Hinterland'


Were you to find yourself walking through this forest in Upstate New York, you might miss the black structure in its midst.

Intended as a library, the one-room retreat, designed by Studio Padron and dubbed Hemmelig Rom (secret room), offers its owners a sanctuary deep within its sylvan setting - a space for reading in quiet contemplation, and a bed for overnight guests.

Inside, a bed, an armchair and a desk are enveloped by roughly 2,500 books on timber shelves. After dark, its blackened exterior becomes virtually invisible, apart from the glow that emanates through its picture windows.

The Minimalist Library
The Minimalist Library
Image: Jason Koxvold/'The Hinterland'

This article was originally published by the Sunday Times.
You can view the original article here.

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