The Rolling Huts are several steps above camping, while remaining low-tech and low-impact in their design. The six huts sit lightly on the site, which is a flood plain meadow in an alpine river valley. The wheels lift the structures above the meadow, providing space for native grasses to grow and allowing unobstructed views of the surrounding mountains.
The construction of each hut is simple. It is, in essence, an offset, steel-clad box on a steel and wood platform. Walls are topped by clerestory windows, over which a sips panel roof floats in an inverted, lopsided “V.” At the north end of each hut, a double-paned sliding glass door opens to the outside. Living occurs not only in the 200 square feet inside the box, but also on the 240 square feet of covered deck space surrounding it. Interior finishes – cork and plywood – are simple, inexpensive, and left as raw as possible. Exteriors are durable, no-maintenance materials: steel, plywood, and car-decking. The raw character of the materials responds and integrates with the natural setting.
The six huts are grouped as a herd: while each is sited toward a view of the mountains – and away from the other structures – their proximity unites them. Showers are located in a centrally located barn, set a short distance from the herd. Rain and snowmelt from each hut are allowed to percolate into the surrounding landscape. In form, siting, scale and materiality, the huts defer to the meadows and forests of the Methow Valley.
Many of my projects, including Rolling Huts, demonstrate contrast—the intertwining of public and private, inside and outside, enclosed versus exposed. Sometimes, there is even an element of risk, or daring, which is desired on the client’s part and intentional on my part. It’s about encouraging people to engage with their surroundings, but it’s also about needing contrast in order to have a complete experience. It’s the yin and the yang.Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA
AIA Northwest and Pacific Region Honor Awards, Honor Award
Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Awards, American Architecture Award
Residential Architect Design Awards, Grand Award: Outbuilding
Architectural Record: Record Houses, Record House
AIA Seattle Honor Awards, Merit Award
Compagno, Natalie and Greg Freitas. “If Hotels Could Talk.” Seattle Magazine, Oct. 2022, 60, 62-63. Web.
Eberhardt, Ellen. “The 24 Best Glamping Destinations Across North America.” Field Mag, 14 Jul. 2022. Web.
Franco, Jose Tomas. “Como aproveitar o espaço embaixo da cama?” ArchDaily Brasil, 7 Jun. 2022. Web.
Ganea, Simona. “Modern Cabins: 50 Contemporary Designs That Redefine Outdoor Living.” Homedit, 6 Mar. 2022. Web.
Michelson, Megan. “17 Best Cabin Rentals in Washington State to Explore This Season.” Field Mag, 30 May 2022. Web.
Williams, Allison. “18 Amazing Northwest Cabin Destinations.” Wear What When, 28 Jun. 2022. Web.
Ganea, Simona. “Small Modern Houses With Clever And Inspiring Designs.” Homedit, 15 Feb. 2021. Web.
Baldwin, Eric. “Urban Flight: New Homes in the Move to Rural Living.” ArchDaily, 14 Jul. 2020. Web.
Franco, José Tomás. “How To Take Advantage of the Space Under The Bed.” ArchDaily, 16 Nov. 2020. Web.
Franco, José Tomás. “Storage Solution for Small Houses: Useful Examples.” ArchDaily, 23 Feb. 2020. Web.
Ganea, Simona. “60 Modern Cabins From Around The World Reveal Their Design Secrets.” Homedit, 18 May 2020. Web.
Kim, Dakota. “Spring Break Impacted by Coronavirus Concerns? Here Are 16 Outdoorsy Day Trips to Take Instead.” Sunset, 11 Mar. 2020. Web.
Moreira, Susanna. “Tiny Houses on Wheels: Flexibility and Mobility in Small Scale Architecture.” ArchDaily, 18 Sep. 2020. Web.
Stein, Joshua David. “5 Amazing Cabins in the U.S.” Hemispheres, 1 Oct. 2020. Web.
Tomelty, Madelin. “By Design.” Luxury Travel, Autumn 2020, 54-65. Print.
Daly, Samantha. “Top 5 Small Spaces of the Week With Serious Star Power.” Dwell, 1 Feb. 2019. Web.
Heavener, Brent. Tiny House: Live Small, Dream Big. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2019, 138-139. Book.
Keskeys, Paul. “Blast from the Past: 7 Contemporary Huts Inspired by Ancient Architecture.” Architizer, 13 March 2019. Web.
“Sehr klein fein.” Media @ Home. Jan. 2019, 62. Print.
Stamp, Elizabeth. “These Beautifully Designed Tiny Homes Will Make You Want to Downsize.” Architectural Digest, 6 Sep. 2019. Web.
Wright, Renee. “Nature-friendly huts provide unique lodging in Washington’s Methow Valley.” Mobile RVing, 25 March. 2019. Web.
Jewell, Nicole. “Olson Kundig breathes new life into former RV campground with low-impact huts on wheels.” Inhabitat, 21 Dec. 2018. Web.
Lambert, Laura. “15 Must-See Micro-Hotels Around the World.” MSN Travel, 21 Sept. 2018. Web.
“Rolling Huts.” Dwell. 13 Dec. 2018. Web.
Tran, Vy. “The Rolling Huts: An Architect’s Alternative Approach to Camping.” Design Milk, 10 Jan. 2018. Web.
Williamson, Caroline. “Best Destination Design Posts of 2018.” Design Milk, 19 Dec. 2018. Web.
“25 must-see buildings in Washington.” USA Today, 15 Nov. 2017. Web.
Burkett, Kaelan. “Rich Retreats: 7 Hut Hotels Reach New Levels of Luxury.” Architizer, 11 Apr. 2017. Web.
McCafferty, Georgia. “Mobitecture: Radical homes for life on the move.” CNN Style, 13 July 2017. Web.
Ogle, Amanda. “The Tinist Hotel Rooms Worth Sleeping In.” Paste Magazine, 24 May 2017. Web.
Roke, Rebecca. Mobitecture: Architecture on the Move. New York: Phaidon, 2017. Print.
Williams, Allison. “18 Amazing Northwest Cabin Destinations.” Seattle Met, 15 May 2017. Web.
Williams, Allison. “Washington’s Best Cabins and Cottages.” Seattle Met, June 2017, 51-52, 55-57. Print.
“Your Next Retreat: An Elevated Cabin Getaway in Northern Washington.” Gear Patrol, 7 Sept. 2017. Web.
Barber, Megan. “Camp in Style in These Tom Kundig-Designed Huts.” Curbed Ski, 22 June 2016. Web.
“Escape the City: The Top 10 Summer Retreats for Architects.” Architizer, 20 June 2016. Web.
Keeshin, Matthew. “Like, Follow, Comment! We Love These Homes on Instagram.” Dwell, 11 March 2016. Web.
“Top 18 romantic getaways.” Sunset¸ 29 Jan. 2016. Web.
“Top 100: Rolling Huts / Olson Kundig.” ArchDaily, 16 June 2009. Web.
Friesen, Trish. “Rolling Huts Review.” Glamping, 25 Feb. 2015. Web.
“Tom Kundig Olson Kundig Architects Seattle.” Metropolis Magazine, June 2015. Print. Web.
Baldwin, Eric. “Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Metal.” ArchDaily, 8 Jan. 2014. Web.
”Escape the City: The Top 10 Summer Retreats for Architects” Architizer, 14 July 2014. Web.
Mandojana, Jose. “Top 9 Cascade Mountain sights.” Sunset, July 2014, 58. Print. Web.