News Home & Design This Steel-Clad Tubular Cabin in the Woods Is Built Like a Ship This shiny cylindrical cabin in Russia was created using shipbuilding techniques. By Kimberley Mok Kimberley Mok Twitter Writer McGill University Cornell University Kimberley Mok is a former architect who has been covering architecture and the arts for Treehugger since 2007. Learn about our editorial process Published October 28, 2021 04:00PM EDT Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process Share Twitter Pinterest Email Ilya Ivanov News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Intriguing works of architecture are often inspired by some unexpected twist, whether that's using biomimicry to create an algae-infused facade that transforms pollution into clean air, or perhaps an almost-invisible mirrored treehouse that blends into the treescape. In the Kaluga region of Russia, architect Sergey Kuznetsov adapted shipbuilding techniques to create a unique tubular cabin that seems to be cantilevering out of a hill. Dubbed the "Russian Quintessential," the project is intended as an installation for the Archstoyanie Festival, which some refer to as Russia’s Burning Man. Held in Nikola-Lenivets Art Park, the event typically features curated land art, music, and family activities in a natural setting. For Kuznetsov, whose day job includes working as the chief architect of Moscow, the futuristic installation was a chance to create some "real magic." He says: "It seemed interesting to me to make a statement on what is considered perfection in Russian architecture today, and to show that high-quality things can be done in large quantities in our country. This is how the 'Russian Quintessential' project was born, and I must say that colleagues helped to implement it exactly in the form it was conceived. I hope that this story will receive some kind of continuation and will be relevant for future generations." The concept was to create something that stood apart from nature, yet at the same time, reflects and blends into it. Since Kuznetsov wanted to aim for a cantilevered structure, this goal was more easily achieved with something that was clad with stainless steel, which is relatively more lightweight than timber materials. Ilya Ivanov Even with the 4-millimeter-thick (0.15 inch) stainless steel though, the cylindrical cabin is still a pretty hefty one at 12 tons. Measuring 11 feet in diameter and over 39 feet in length, the design takes its structural cues from shipbuilding techniques. According to Kuznetsov, the metal frame is built using transverse frames or load-bearing ribs, which are installed at a pitch of 500 millimeters (19.6 inches), which are then connected by horizontal elements called stringers, much like the hull of a ship. The complex engineering techniques used here permit the cabin's bulk to be fastened with only six bolts. One end of the cabin rests on a concrete foundation, which has been buried in the small hillside. This bit of architectural sleight of hand results in the dwelling looking like it's jutting out of the land, or half-suspended in the air. Ilya Ivanov The entrance at one end features a glass facade and a door at the top of some stone steps. Ilya Ivanov Inside the insulated, steel-clad envelope, the interior is covered with wood to lend it a warmer feel. The cabin is designed to allow guests to have a comfortable stay. There is a small kitchen to cook food at one end of the cabin. The enclosed volume behind the kitchen holds the bathroom, which has a shower and toilet. Ilya Ivanov In the middle, we have a dining area with a table and barstool-like chairs. There are drawers integrated into the table for extra storage. There is also a bed on top of a wooden platform that holds extra shelving for storing luggage. Beyond that, there is a door leading out into the balcony that overlooks the forested landscape. Ilya Ivanov At night, when the cabin is lit, it looks like a lantern in the forest. Ilya Ivanov It's a striking cabin that merges the modern with the natural, all built like a ship that is floating in the forest. To see more, visit Sergey Kuznetsov.