Worm sets off into the wilderness to review ‘Cabins’, a stunning new photographic book published by TASCHEN…
I’m slightly embarrassed to say this in public, but I must confess to being something of a Grand Designs addict. My little addiction enables me to re-watch every episode again and again, despite being repulsed by Kevin McCloud’s presenting style (both constipated and smug at the same time.) Looking beyond the self-satisfied voiceover and the usual middle class neuroses however, there’s something deeply gratifying in seeing people stick a middle finger up to everyone else’s taste and expectations in pursuit of their own architectural vision.
Those kind of self-build renegades, Thoreau fans, frustrated shed owners and DIY dreamers could not ask for a finer Christmas present this year than Cabins, a beautiful new photographic book from TASCHEN. Cabins presents a global snapshot of 61 of the very best and most covetable eyries available, created by some of the world’s most famous architects using the latest eco-materials. Freed from the urban vernacular, these cabins are startling expressions of personal taste and architectural fancy; and seem to be both a manifestation of the desire to retreat from urban consumerism, and yet also a product of urban consumerism, to be lusted after as unobtainable Cabin Porn.
Inside these Bauhaus beauties there are no battered armchairs, no flower pots, no lawnmowers or old Haynes manuals. Far removed from piffling potting sheds, they are gleaming Hollywood space ships beamed into the remote wilderness. I find that the beauty is in the surprise of the juxtaposition, in that unlike a log or sod cabin that melds into the landscape that created it, the buildings featured in this book are to be admired as man’s imprint upon nature, their concrete and glass façades floating in lonely forest clearings like some modernist update on the baroque temples of Claude Lorrain.
And they are indeed gorgeous and deeply satisfying to look at and lust after. The book itself is also a thing of beauty in its own right too. The illustrations, in a 1950’s style, by Marie-Laure Cruschi are almost prettier than the cabins themselves. Offering inspiration and a hefty dose of envy for all fans of stylish design and the great outdoors, this is definitely a book to get lost in.
You can purchase your own copy of Cabins, and other books in the collection by visiting the TASCHEN website.