Johnsen Schmaling’s Linear Cabin

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-4-58-27-pmA recent project from the Johnsen Schmaling Architecture firm presents a contemporary take on the traditional cabin in the woods. The ‘Linear Cabin’ is a simple, 900-square-foot rectangular structure with rustic charm, and glass walls for enjoying the surrounding views.


The cabin is comprised of three identically sized, boxes that are separated by spatial voids, and tied together with a continuous, thin roof plane that spans the entire length of the building. The storage box acts as a shed with room for lawn equipment, canoes, or whatever needs to be stored. The service box contains the cabin’s home infrastructure, including entry, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and boiler room. The sleeping box houses two bunk rooms. The area between the storage and service boxes is open in the front and back, and provides a covered spot for a vehicle. The void between service and sleeping boxes is the center of the cabin, and acts as the living area. This room features 15’ wide glass doors and a wood-burning stove.


Johnsen Schmaling’s Linear Cabin was built in the sparsely populated Northwoods region of Wisconsin, but I can see this building fitting in perfectly here in Columbia County. It was built using regionally sourced materials, including a variety of timber products harvested in Wisconsin’s northern forests. The boxes are clad with blackened pine planks, and varnished cedar is used throughout the structure. The interior walls and ceilings are covered in knotty pine, and floors are polished dark-grey concrete.


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