This beautiful off-grid micro cabin in Tennessee is a contemporary update to the traditional lakeside retreat. The Cape Russell Retreat is a modestly-sized cabin that packs high design into a small residence that is completely independent of the water and electrical grids. Sander Pace Architecture's design features a steel frame, a butterfly roof, and a cedar and screened façade to provide shelter and all the creature comforts necessary for a relaxing weekend getaway.
The cabin began as a steel cube—the vertical cedar slats give it strength, and openings in the back wall add interest. The verticality of the façade helps the cabin slip into the woods during the day, and at night light from the interior escapes through the silver openings. The other sides are simple screened-in frames that allow breezes to enter and provide views of the lake and mountains beyond. The entrance is a generous 8 x 8 foot rolling screen door, which is protected by a tall roof overhang to block sun and capture rain.
The butterfly roof is a simple solution that creates a perfect place to set a modest solar electric array. The roof also capture rainwater, which is treated with a carbon and UV filter and stored in a 400 gallon tank for drinking, and washing in the outdoor shower.
The interior features all the creature comforts of a small kitchen, complete with a sink and refrigerator. The cabin even has ceiling fans to cut stagnant air on hot summer evenings. At 176 square feet, the cabin is just large enough to provide all that is needed for a simple escape — but nothing superfluous.