by Pionic Staff — filed to Earth · Reflections

We are all part of nature, even though we tend or even want to forget this absolute and truly basic connection.

Nonetheless, there’s this poetic yearning, a wish that time could just stop once you’re reconnected with nature.

Nature transports you into a world, that seems so far away as we stray from our paths living in urban landscapes filled with metaphors of an industrial age that's now being transformed into an age of digital synchrony, where there’s a connection to almost everything, swift and immediate.

But there’s no way or meaningful insight to a human soul, whereas in the old and analog days you at least had a flashlight to wander through the world and time to marvel at nature’s sheer beauty in abundance.

It was back in these days, when Jim Olson, one of the founders of Seattle’s architecture studio Olson Kundig started to build a bridge between nature and people that led to a design practice and projects that span the world.

At the age of 18, he designed and built a bunkhouse that accompanied him to this day. This so-called Olson Cabin is located on a forested site on a peninsula in the Puget Sound, Washington, and has undergone numerous expansion from a 14-foot by 14-foot treetop house to a now 2,400 square feet building.

The remodeling over the years was always just that, a re-envisioning process to preserve the old structure and elements and indeed inhale a breath of nature. Only wood, steel, and glass of subdued color and texture have been used, allowing the cabin “to recede into the woods and defer to the beauty of the landscape," the studio always likes to emphasize.

"Materials enhance this natural connection, reflecting the silvery hues of the overcast Northwest sky and tying the building to the forest floor [and] each successive expansion and remodel has reused and integrated the previous structure rather than erasing it, revealing the history of the architecture and the process of its evolution".

Among the trees, the building has been expanding in a unique way, like it’s been growing naturally up there and people looking outside of the house, contemplating, will be led back to their inner self.

This is the kind of project reminding us to enjoy what we have, while we still have it. There is simply something poetic in nature that defies the generic convention we keep on repeating in architecture.

Maybe we should all "go and build a bunkhouse" to understand where we're coming from...

You can also watch Nowness' short film - Up in the trees with the nature-loving architect:

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