Wooden hut with totems

Small wooden houses and cottages have a special charm that keeps us coming back with examples. After house on the Swedish islandand the one on the rocky shores of the Atlantic, it was the turn of a log cabin in the woods of the Coast Mountains, British Columbia, Canada. The unique look, with the roof resting on totem poles, is the first to catch the eye. The totem poles greatly distinguish the small building, even giving it its name - The Totems.


Cottage by the pond

The cottage was designed by architect Henry Yorke Mann. The clients, who had a half-acre of dense forest in the Coast Mountains, wanted a guest house in the middle of the woods. The cabin was built on the banks of a pond they also built.

Surrounded by phallic trees, The Totems is almost mystical. The roof of the thick log cabin is worn by massive stylised figures, a tribute to the spirit of the forest. The totem poles and other aspects of the lodge's design are reminiscent of the plank houses of several tribes of the indigenous people of the northern Pacific coast.



Mica Faberge jewellery box

The hut is rectangular, symmetrical, with a fireplace in the centre. The walls are made of logs joined at the corners in swallowtailand the roof is made of thick planks of cedar. It is supported, as in Haida tribal houses, by several beams along the length of the house, including one along each side wall.

These side beams allowed the architect to insert glass between the beams and the walls so that the heavy roof structure appears to float above the log walls. The short sides of the rectangle, i.e., the entrance and rear of the house, are mostly glazed, with doors and windows set between the totems.

The house has a footprint of 37.2 sqm. The central granite fireplace separates the front, where the living and dining space is, from the back, with the kitchen and bathroom. An interesting staircase placed behind the fireplace allows access to the loft, where the sleeping space is, because the bedroom would be too much to say. The lack of space is more than made up for by the view of the star-filled sky provided by the skylights in the roof.

When the cottage was ready, the owners fell in love with it immediately and gave up their 400 m² house in the town and lived here permanently. They say The Totems is like a Faberge jewel box that, when looked at carefully, continually reveals its surprises.






(source: smallhousebliss.com)

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

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