Activist and artist Anna Hoover collaborated with architect Les Eerkes from Olson Kundig Architects to build the Scavenger Hut – a beautiful, low-impact cabin hidden in the idyllic landscape of the Puget Sound. The design for the 693-square-foot compact cabin called for both affordability and sustainability. Accordingly, it was built using mostly reclaimed materials and leaves a minimal footprint thanks to a unique six-foot raised foundation.
When artist and activist Anna Hoover was considering the cabin’s design, she was looking for something simple and rustic that would be a “thought refuge, a room with a view to sit and contemplate future projects and reflect on recent travels and interactions, plenty of ‘headspace’—tall ceilings—and the ability to host other artists for studio time,” she explained.
Enter architect Les Eerkes, who designed the project while at Olson Kundig. Working with Hoover, Eerkes designed an eco-friendly timber cabin that would be a simple, but elegant space to encourage thoughtful contemplation. Even better, Eerkes came up with a plan to build the structure for less than $200 per square foot.
To cut costs, the cabin was built with glued laminated timber. The exterior facade is clad in T1-11 plywood, which Hoover charred herself using a Weed Dragon Torch. Additionally, the six columns that support the cabin not only reduce the structure’s footprint, but also added an affordable way to avoid excavation and labor costs that come with laying a concrete foundation.
The majority of the building materials – and even the plants – were reclaimed from homes and buildings slated for demolition. “The process of reclaiming these plants and items and giving them a new life and home is fulfilling on many levels,” Hoover says. “Easier on the pocketbook and the environment—and you receive the benefit of a good workout.”
The interior is a light-filled space, flooded with natural light thanks to an abundance of windows. The kitchen and living room are on the ground floor topped with a sleeping loft. Along with the salvaged kitchen cabinets, the interior is a hodge-podge of reclaimed materials. A hot-rolled steel staircase leads to the loft where floor-to-ceiling windows give stunning views of the surrounding forest. The room even has a drop-down door that opens completely to further blend the space into its surroundings.