Will 2013 go down as the year of the single-room, sunlight-maximizing cabin? Some days it seems like you can't kick a rock without hitting one, which presents a particular temptation for the homesteader in denial who knows that fantasies of decamping for a self-sufficient life in the wilderness are probably best left unacted upon. This latest piece of daydream fodder, with a façade built entirely from repurposed windows, was a summertime project of photographer Nick Olson and designer Lilah Horwitz. The two met at an artist residency in Pennsylvania, and after taking a trip to the Olson family's West Virginia property, made a rather spur-of-the-moment decision to quit their jobs and devote a season to assembling a modest hideaway entirely out of recovered materials.
The Milwaukee-based couple rented a U-Haul and set out for Appalachia, scavenging and purchasing materials along the way for a project they estimate costed them only about $500. Of course, when you factor in the opportunity cost of months worth of income, it complicates the bottom line a little bit, but it's impressive enough that two inexperienced young people built the entire thing on their own while subsisting on a diet of rice and beans. The final product, which sits four feet off the ground and rises about 16 feet high, is decidedly more of a seasonal retreat than a residence, with no running water or electricity and very little keeping the elements at bay. Someday, the couple hopes to add more in the way of amenities, but for now the dwelling remains—like those homesteader daydreams—a picturesque piece of wish fulfillment.