founded in vancouver, british columbia, canada, the backcountry hut company was conceived to assist individuals and organizations in the design, planning, and construction of small-scale outdoor structures. the approach consists of a prefabricated, flat-packed, mass-customizable system that can be configured to meet a wide range of individual needs. the great lakes cabin designed by leckie studio is being presented at IDS as the latest edition of the backcountry hut company product offering. the system provides a premium quality shelter suitable for remote locations, with capabilities to withstand the harshest weather conditions.
It’s easy to take for granted just how crucial buildings are to all our lives. Think about the hospital you were born in, the home you grew up in, the school you were taught in and the building you work in. Buildings of all types have a profound impact on each of our lives, as indeed they do on the environment around us. But the way we create these buildings needs to change and that change is becoming ever more urgent. Just imagine for a moment if, for every car in the world, designers went back to the drawing board each and every time. Picture the major car manufacturers using a bespoke design and different supply chains just to get one car off the assembly line. The consequences are not hard to imagine. Costs would quickly rise, and quality would vary widely with greater safety and environmental risks. This couldn’t work for the automotive sector and in truth, it doesn’t work for construction either. The sector is less productive than the economy as a whole – the focus on project build cost means we do not get the best value for users, society and in the long term, the economy. Added to this, the sector’s carbon footprint is far too high and with an ever-growing public focus on climate change, the sector’s green credentials will come more and more into the spotlight.
the design concept presents a modernist interpretation of the notion of rustic wilderness living, based on the spirit of canadian outdoor culture
the aesthetic and materials of the great lakes cabin take cues from the environment of the landscape of the canadian shield, cottage country, and the great lakes region of north america. the compact structure is crafted to have a minimal environmental impact on the site. every square inch of its 670 square foot (62.2 square meters) footprint is utilized, featuring a lofted sleeping area, a bathroom, and a covered exterior deck. the structural system is comprised of a sustainably harvested engineered timber frame, clad with prefabricated insulated wall/roof/floor panels. the envelope system can be customized to meet net zero and passive house standards.
the backcountry hut company has been selected by IDS toronto to provide the design concept house for the latest edition taking place from january 17 to 20, 2019
the cabin interior is divided into two different spaces with separate functions: a sleeping loft, and an open plan ‘great room’ for cooking, living, and dining. a fully-glazed end wall creates a large aperture for a strong visual connection with nature. inspired by the idea of ikea’s founder ingvar kamprad of providing affordable well-designed products ‘for the many people’, the backcountry hut company has developed a kit-of-parts solution to shelter through the provision of a flat-packed system with the following characteristics:
prefabrication — the ‘kit-of-parts’ hut system is designed as an engineered wood post-and-beam frame that is then layered with prefabricated insulated panels. a simple nail-on window system is provided, and prefabricated cladding modules are then applied.
modularity — the standardized structural modules can be combined to adjust the size, and adapt the structure for different needs, whether for one person, or a group.
ease of assembly — the components easily fit together with pre-engineered connections, and the scale of the building affords it’s assembly by a group of volunteers with minimal tools, through the use of traditional ‘barn-raising’ techniques. the system is built on a pile system with minimal site work required, diminishing the building’s environmental impact on the site.
customization — the shell and interior fit-out are separate platforms, allowing for customization for a range of possible needs and scenarios – whether the intended use is for outdoor recreation or urban living.
sustainability — the cabin uses FSC certified lumber and engineered wood products, 100% recyclable components, and adopts a zero-waste philosophy.