Forest Cabin by Bernd Riegger – Nestled deep in the forests of Austria, architect Bernd Riegger has constructed a beautiful minimalist cabin that offers scientists and students alike a chance to get up close and personal with mother nature. The House for Forest Owls features a timber structure that manages to blend effortlessly with its surroundings, despite a somewhat complex external facade. Apart from a place where people can observe the forest and its wildlife, the one-room structure is also the perfect place to escape from sudden thunderstorms and inclement weather while out walking in the woods.
Built from what is most likely local timber, the outside of the shelter is covered in various nooks and crannies, which serve as an excellent way to attract creatures in the local vicinity. Over time, these spaces could also be overtaken by local plantlife, helping the building to become an even more integrated part of the forest ecosystem. For viewing larger specimens outside the hut, a single bench and table face out of a huge horizontal window for maximum visibility.
The observation post cost just $18,000 to build, which makes it a cost-effective solution for local groups and non-profits keen to encourage more engagement with local wildlife. At the same time, the building is meant to be non-intrusive, which makes it just as important to limit the number if huts in any given area, so as not to upset the natural balance. [photography by Adolf Bereuter]