Friends' four small modern cabins sit on shared land

Matt Garcia Design
© Matt Garcia Design

Some things are best shared, like land, which can be expensive to purchase. After purchasing land for a common retreat, four couples (who were also mutual friends) bought a piece of land on the Llano River in Texas, and thought that they were going to build one large, shared building together. Instead, they decided to build four small cabins, along with a common kitchen and dining space, and a guesthouse. Local architect Matt Garcia was brought on to design the four cabins, which employ some eco-friendly ideas like rainwater harvesting.

© Matt Garcia Design

The interiors of the 350-square-foot (32.5 square-meter) cabins are conceived with a studio-style layout, and feel open and airy, with a simple but modern aesthetic. From the plywood panelled walls to the low-cost, plate steel, pipe-fixture shelving, the materials are basic and left unfinished to give a rustic yet contemporary feel.

© Matt Garcia Design
© Matt Garcia Design
© Matt Garcia Design
© Matt Garcia Design

Off to the side of the lovely workspace, one of the stranger details seems to be the small kitchen with a refrigerator and coffee-maker, in the same space as the toilet -- some kind of privacy barrier would have made more sense here.

© Matt Garcia Design

On the exterior, each cabin has durable, galvanized metal siding, to give shelter from the hot and dry Texan climate by reflecting sunlight, and walls are insulated with spray foam (not the greenest choice, but we digress). Each cabin has a small outdoor patio. The roofs are sloped to facilitate rainwater collection, which is gathered in distinctive, metal-clad tanks adjacent to each building. According to Small House Bliss, each cabin cost around $40,000 to build. Staggered alongside each other on the site, the cabins face out in the same direction, allowing for privacy while still sharing the view and space.

© Matt Garcia Design
© Matt Garcia Design

We like the spacious layout of the simple interiors, and the fact that the land and resources are shared with a group of friends, promoting shared responsibilities and stewardship of this riverside site. There are some commendable elements going on here; see more works by Matt Garcia Design here.

Tags: Architecture | Texas

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