Instead of building a cabin deep in the woods, The Swamp Hut was built just over 11 kilometres west of Boston. Born from the minds of Boston-based architects Keith Moskow and Robert Linn some 20 years ago, the idea was put into motion in 2008 as an experiment in cost-effective, prefabricated design. Now, with The Swamp Hut fully built, both of the architects’ families are able to spend their weekends cooking s’mores around the fire.
There are four huts that surround a central deck. The huts include two enclosed bedrooms, one open-concept dining area, and one cleansing/food storage hut. The design was inspired by covered wagons and sailboats, both of which are evident in the triangular, wooden trusses.
With the help of friends, the 580-square-foot structure took five weeks to complete and cost just $7,500. This tiny house compound is a successful experiment in minimized footprint architecture, and it even won a Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Design.
The Swamp Hut is also very environmentally friendly. The families carry away their trash at the end of each visit and they even have a composting toilet. There is also no running water or electricity. All water is brought in, and the moon or the fire pit are enough to light up evenings spent at the hut.
The 12-foot-high trusses were put together in a nearby workshop and then carried to the site. The tall, steep triangular roofing creates the perfect amount of indoor space and also stops snow from building up in the winter.
There are two sleeping huts, which are actually more reminiscent of camping than of spending the night in a cottage. There is enough space for four people—one room has a double bed and the other has two twin beds. Each sleeping hut is covered with semi-translucent fiberglass to provide some privacy while still letting in ample sunlight.
Right in the centre of the four trusses is a fire pit. The families cook all their food over the pit, including hotdogs, spaghetti, and marshmallows. It’s their favourite place to congregate after dark and brings a little warmth to cool evenings. Food is enjoyed in the adjacent dining structure that comfortably sits up to eight people.