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The treehouses and cabins of new book 'The Hinterland' offer dreamy escapes

What is the hinterland, and why does it beckon?

A simple rectilinear wood structure in the snowy woods.
A mountain hideout in Hungary.
By T2.A Architects, Photography by Zsolt Batar, from The Hinterland, Copyright Gestalten 2016

What is the hinterland, and why does it beckon? Literally translated from German, it means “the land behind,” or, more specifically, a rural area outside of an urban area. The hinterland calls out to city dwellers because it offers respite from the frenzy of modern life in the calm and beauty of nature. Many dream of retreating to the mountains or the sea but can’t always muster the energy, the means, or the bravery, to get out there.

There are ways, however, and the schemes are not always grand or expensive. Sure, there are sprawling compounds and modernist masterpieces to be found perched on a bluff overlooking the water, but there are also tree houses, lookouts, shacks, and everything in between ensconced into a clearing in the woods, or tucked in a remote village, or holding court in the countryside.

For inspiration, whether one needs it to kickstart an idea for a dwelling, or to simply gain some secondhand motivation from those pioneers who made it work without a whole lot, look no further than The Hinterland: Cabins, Love Shacks and Other Hide-Outs, out soon from Gestalten. Through a collection of portraits of getaway structures and their inhabitants—in places as varied as Slovenia, Australia, Romania, New Zealand, Serbia, Chile, Poland, Hungary, Canada, and, of course, the U.S.—the book explores how architecture, no matter how primitive or simple, can provide a blueprint of sorts for simple, quiet living. Take a peek below.

Lilah and Nick in West Virginia, in their house made of salvaged windows.
By Lila Horwitz and Nick Olson, Photography by Half Cut Tea, from The Hinterland, Copyright Gestalten 2016
The RTU International Summer School in Latvia.
Photography by Building Works Unit (right) and Kaspars Kursiss (left), from The Hinterland, Copyright Gestalten 2016
This treehouse was built by Peter Bahouth and is located in the deep south.
By Peter Bahouth, photography by Lindsay Appel, from The Hinterland, Copyright Gestalten 2016
Casa Vi sits in the Italian Alps.
By EV+A Lab, Photography by Marcelle Mariana, from The Hinterland, Copyright Gestalten 2016
South Fyn Archipelago, Denmark.
By Lumo Arkitekter, Photography by Jesper Balleby, from The Hinterland, Copyright Gestalten 2016