SIZE: 600 sf


Theodore Durham

DESIGN CONSULTANT: Brillhart Architecture



This 600 square foot cabin is a project for ourselves – an adventure into the out-islands of the Bahamas. The intent is to provide a “small house / big life” experience where one can trade in the ailments of modern life for the rewards of outdoor living. The 14’ x 22’ x 30’ structure can stand alone, or be assembled in multiples to create a family compound as needs expand.

Our goal was to also create a place that is both contextual and somehow familiar, resuscitating the Ancient while celebrating the Modern. The building relies on the instinctual logic of the primitive hut; references the gabled cottages of nearby Harbour Island; and abstracts and reduces the Creole Cabinet-Loggia typology. The downstairs “loggia” offers flexible indoor/outdoor living, cooking and dining space, while the sleeping areas and bathroom have been located in a secondary “cabinet” in the eaves. Meanwhile, the structural design strategy merges stick-frame and post and beam construction to not only reduce waste but also allow just two people to assemble it on site.

Because of its size and the need to be cost effective, a number of the elements and spaces serve multiple purposes. The overhangs, which can be manually operated with a pulley system, provide both covered outdoor space when they are raised, and security when battened down/closed. The stair gives access to the upstairs while also adding structural integrity, preventing the building from racking. The island functions as both working space and a table.

The all glass structure downstairs includes sliding glass doors and makes the surrounding landscape the focal point. The two upstairs bedrooms feature two skylights, which orient your view towards the night sky, as well as windows that open to provide cross ventilation.

Lastly, the project seeks to create a unity between materials and landscape. Cedar shingles; structurally-insulated panels wrapped in western red cedar; and aluminum structural elements allow the building to blend seamlessly with the silvery bark of the palm trees.

Photo: William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo: William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo: William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo: William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo: William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo: Brillhart Architecture

Photo (left): William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo: William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

Photo (left): William Abranowicz / Art + Commerce

First Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan



Structural Axon

Exploded Axon