10 cool cordwood designs that showcase the beauty of natural wood

Cordwood construction is an unsung hero in the world of natural building. It’s durable, it’s cheap, and it’s…wait, what is it?

For those not yet in the know, cordwood construction (also known as stackwall construction) is a building technique that uses short cross-sections of wood to create walls, floors, countertops, pathways, and just about anything else you can think of. The word “cordwood” actually just refers to a stack of wood, and when you look at these photos, you’ll notice that that’s what most cordwood constructions look like. The pieces tend to be embedded in mortar with insulation in the middle, though some constructions are built with nothing but the wood itself.

Cordwood buildings are durable—some are still standing that are over a hundred years old—and they’re often very eco-friendly as well. They can be built from the ends of logs and from salvaged pieces of wood, and they don’t need to be a specific size or shape.

But the best part about cordwood structures? Their looks of course. Nothing beats the appearance of natural wood. With their unique shapes and beautiful rings, cordwood walls are like miniature art galleries in themselves, and they can be as polished or as rustic as you like. If you’re an amateur builder looking to create an off-grid cabin or a backyard shed, you might want to consider cordwood building. It’s beautiful and do-able—the two favourite words of any craftsperson.