There’s no replacement for hands-on experience – which is why architecture students at the University of British Columbia designed and built this off-grid cabin entirely from scratch. Located in the heart of a coastal rainforest on Gambier Island, SALAmander is a timber retreat sheltered beneath a leafy green canopy. The private sanctuary is only accessible by foot, but the stunning surroundings are worth the trek.
University of British Columbia students in the School of Architecture + Landscape Architecture (SALA) work in teams to design and build unique projects—from an archery range and amphitheater to off-grid cabins—as part of the school’s ARCH 544 course. Alyssa Brosch, Jérémie Dussault-Lefebvre, Sébastien Roy, Christopher Torres, and Kelsey Whitten collaborated on SALAmander at Camp Fircom, a site selected for its remote location and beautiful scenery. The cabin is elevated on stilts to minimize site impact.
The cabin features a wraparound cedar deck partly shaded by the extended roof. The timber interior includes two open-air bunks, storage, and an above loft area, and is intended for occupation in the summer months. There is no attached outhouse. “Surrounded by a cathedral of trees the cabin is placed in a small clearing on a gentle slope, floating above the ground much as to respect and leave the landscape pristine,” wrote the designers. The camp-like effect is strengthened with the addition of an outdoor fire pit on the south side.