This otherworldly off-grid tiny home called Ashen Cabin in upstate New York is made from infested wood, 3D printed concrete and robotic technology. Architectural practice Hannah Office built the cabin as an exploration into sustainable construction and re-use of waste materials.
The cabin is clad in previously discarded Emerald Ash wood which had been infested by borer beetles and has been ingenuously transformed into an abundantly available, affordable and sustainable building material. The borers are an invasive species and they currently threaten almost one in 10 ash trees in New York state alone, or 8.7 billion trees across America. Once the trees are infested they are either burnt or decompose, which releases C02 into the atmosphere. Robotic technology was used to scan cut and process the wood used for the cabin’s exterior and interior cladding.
The techtonic forms of the concrete plinths were created using 3D printing, which eliminated wasteful formwork and has only been used where structurally necessary. 3D printed concrete was also used as the flooring in a pattern which mimics the form of the Ash trees trunks and branches.
The one room cabin prototype includes a bench which converts to a bed, a kitchenette and a fireplace.
The project was created by Hannah Office co-principles Sasa Zivkovic and Leslie Lok who are also assistant professors of architecture at Cornell University. They worked with a group of students to design and construct the cabin.
– Salavaged waste wood used for external and internal cladding
– 3D printed concrete eliminates the need for formwork and is only used where absolutely necessary
– Window frames are painted plywood
The cabin is a combination of our design research and thinking in response to the urgent condition of our natural environment and possible modes of intervention. It demonstrates our potentially replicable use of relatively new technologies that allow us to advance both formal and technological innovation in the discipline of architecture.
Nadine is the founder and editor of Eco Edition and founder of the Eco Edition Design School. She’s an experienced interior designer, sustainable materials consultant, speaker and serial home renovator.