Co.Design

A Montana Retreat Whose Walls Are Made Of Firewood

Andersson•Wise Architects updates the old technique of cordwood construction to create a private cabin. Let’s just cross our fingers that the residents don’t like to play with matches.

When we first saw photos of Stone Creek Camp, a lovely private retreat in Bigfork, Montana, we thought, "Hope to hell these guys have homeowners’ insurance." All those wood logs on the walls. That dry grass on the roof. It’s practically begging to get lit on fire.

But who cares? It’s so purdeeeee! Designed by Austin-based Andersson•Wise Architects, it updates a time-honored technique called cordwood construction to give the appearance of logs stacked cleanly in the open air. The wood — Douglas fir cleared from the site and cut down to size — is locked within an insulated, waterproof layer (though not fire-proof sealant), and secured with invisible fasteners.

A cool detail: The wall of the living room doubles as firewood storage. It has a glass-enclosed bin full of loose logs that the residents, a couple, can grab and toss in their fireplace. From afar, you can’t even tell it apart from the rest of the wall.

Let’s just cross our fingers that the couple doesn’t like to play with matches.

[Images by Art Gray; hat tip to Architectural Record]

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