Once, Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond to “live deliberately.” He surrounded himself with nature to create his incredible writing that would inspire generations to come. This writer’s studio is a kind of modern version of Thoreau’s deliberate, nature-filled life. The off-the-grid haven would be a dream-come-true for any writer, artist or creative mind seeking inspiration.
The cabin is tucked into the woods of Connecticut, which isn’t really so far away from Walden Pond in Massachusetts. Made of fieldstone walls with steel and glass, this little cabin sits above a ravine surrounded by nature in all its glory. The cabin was built to be a writer’s retreat for a retired Wall Street executive who longed for the perfect place to pen poetry.
The businessperson and lifelong poet was inspired by Thoreau’s “Walden Pond” while visualizing the perfect retreat for creating poetry. He wanted a cabin that wasn’t just secluded but also self-sufficient. The client called on the expertise of architect Eric J. Smith to bring these visions to life.
The resulting cabin is accessible only by foot, not car, thanks to the dense woods all around it. The fieldstone walls look like they could be the ruins of an old spring house, but this design couldn’t be more modern. The walls hide a strong steel structure that’s fully insulated. There are pockets built right into the walls so the plank shutters and the engineered glass sliders can retract to create an open, airy space. This brings the natural world inside the house for an immersive experience.
Inside, the walls are full of oak shelves, which are a pretty and practical addition. These shelves conceal a trundle bed. A staircase goes up through a motorized roof hatch and provides access to the amazing roof deck. The writing room itself is surrounded by glass and has an incredible view of the ravine.
Most importantly, the entire cabin has a geothermal heating and cooling system. This was a necessary addition, built to protect a precious poetry collection containing 1,700 volumes. This self-sufficient cabin hidden in the woods could inspire anyone to go off-the-grid and get creative. If everyone chose to live deliberately and in harmony with nature, the Earth would be much better for it.
Photography by Durston Saylor via Eric J. Smith