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Stacked Cabin

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Project Name

Stacked Cabin

Project Status



800 sq. feet

Construction Cost



  • General Contractor: Rick Hansen
  • John J. Macaulay



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Project Description

2012 RADA
Custom / 3,000 Square Feet or Less / Merit

Johnsen Schmaling Architects reinterpreted the traditional cottage as a vertically oriented structure constructed of concrete, stucco, and wood. One juror called the result “beautiful-looking.”

The architects designed the cottage for a couple of outdoor enthusiasts “who were getting tired of the tent and just wanted a place to cook and a place to sleep,” says Brian Johnsen, AIA. The design team of Johnsen, Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEED AP, and Nicholas Wood responded with a modest, compact volume that’s nestled into the hillside and provides wide vistas of the valley below. It also has a practical intention. “We didn’t want to go in with a heavy hand, so we went up to minimize the footprint,” Johnsen says.

The base of the house is a concrete plinth that’s left exposed, while a black stucco-clad box sits on top. “We used the dark stucco to emulate the tree trunks on the site, while the wood of the windows [and garage doors] add a warm accent,” Johnsen says.

Upstairs, the main living space consists of an open plan that’s bracketed by a galley kitchen on one side and simple sleeping volumes on the other. Movable floor-to-ceiling curtains confer privacy when needed, while large wood and glass apertures permit expansive views and provide natural cooling in the summer months.
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