Thoreau would be proud of this experimental cabin designed by Elise Morin and Florent Albinet. Comprised of wood and acrylic glass, the cabin is a transparent structure whose privacy is only secured by its temporary location. Following the proportions of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin built in the woods of Walden Pond in 1845, “Walden Raft” is a dynamic experimental building that doubles as a raft, or boat. And it's floating in France.
The cabin is fully navigable and can be moved along a cable strung from the shore to an anchor in the lake. Those occupying this space are required to move the reel around and exert enough pulling force to make it “sail” across Lac de Gayme in the Auvergne region of central France. The structure offers an intermediary space between Thoreau’s ‘Walled-in Space’ and the open air and facilitates constant interaction between inside and outside.
The envelope, or exterior walls, are made up of smaller sections of pine and acrylic glass mounted on top of polyethylene floats. The cabin can’t be fully inhabited. Instead, it creates a specific relationship with the territory surrounding it. It is a “model of the primitive habitat at the birth of architecture, can perhaps be considered as the beginning point of any house.”