Why have one hillside cabin when you can have two? Feldman Architecture is responsible for the design of this pair of small cabins near Mill Valley, California. Interestingly, neither is a primary residence. The cabins are intended as an art studio and yoga space, while also functioning as private guest quarters for lucky visitors. Each cabin was designed with natural light and spectacular views in mind, so they both have large floor-to-ceiling windows that bathe the interior in warm light.

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The cabins were designed to fit into nature, rather than disrupt it. The structures were designed to fit in between existing trees, so that minimal destruction of nature would be needed in order to complete construction. Building on a hillside can often present challenges, but the architects designed the buildings in such a way that minimal regrading was needed, for even less environmental impact.

cabin art studio

The result is two small natural-looking cabins that appear to be part of the green hillside, instead of something placed on top of it. The two cabins are positioned close together, with the upper cabin offering a view down onto the roof of the lower cabin. Both cabins are surrounded by lush greenery. While much of the foliage was already on the hillside, landscape designers Jori Hook Landscape Architecture are responsible for making sure the cabins blend into their green surroundings. This was accomplished in part by adding a rooftop garden to the lower cabin, so that it virtually disappears into the hillside from the view above.

Related: Artist’s wooden cabin climbs up a hillside in Norway

Each cabin is approached by a stone walkway, built right into the hillside. This feature helps give the impression that the cabins have always been part of the land. Because the designers were able to protect so many of the existing trees on the site, the cabins have a special feeling, as though they are a well-kept secret.

+ Feldman Architecture

Images via Joe Fletcher