Architecture

Off-grid Glass Cabin provides peace on the prairie

Off-grid Glass Cabin provides ...
The Glass Cabin's generous glazing can be secured with sliding barn door-style covers when being left for long periods
The Glass Cabin's generous glazing can be secured with sliding barn door-style covers when being left for long periods
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The Glass Cabin's generous glazing can be secured with sliding barn door-style covers when being left for long periods
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The Glass Cabin's generous glazing can be secured with sliding barn door-style covers when being left for long periods
The Glass Cabin is raised on stilts to minimize ground disturbance and protect against flooding
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The Glass Cabin is raised on stilts to minimize ground disturbance and protect against flooding
The Glass Cabin was designed and constructed by architect Steven Risting, with occasional help from family and friends
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The Glass Cabin was designed and constructed by architect Steven Risting, with occasional help from family and friends
The Glass Cabin's operable windows and siding patio doors provide natural ventilation
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The Glass Cabin's operable windows and siding patio doors provide natural ventilation
The Glass Cabin's interior is dominated by a living room
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The Glass Cabin's interior is dominated by a living room
While it's primarily a three-season cabin, Risting did install a wood-burning stove for visits during the holiday season
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While it's primarily a three-season cabin, Risting did install a wood-burning stove for visits during the holiday season
The Glass Cabin is simple but very well done and has received an AIA Indiana Design Award
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The Glass Cabin is simple but very well done and has received an AIA Indiana Design Award
The Glass Cabin includes two bedrooms
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The Glass Cabin includes two bedrooms
The Glass Cabin includes two bedrooms
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The Glass Cabin includes two bedrooms
The Glass Cabin comprises 1,120 sq ft (104 sq m) of floorspace
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The Glass Cabin comprises 1,120 sq ft (104 sq m) of floorspace
The Glass Cabin includes a small kitchenette with copper countertop
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The Glass Cabin includes a small kitchenette with copper countertop
The Glass Cabin is used as a vacation home 
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The Glass Cabin is used as a vacation home 
The Glass Cabin features glazing that was left over from a commercial office expansion
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The Glass Cabin features glazing that was left over from a commercial office expansion
The Glass Cabin is located in rural Iowa, in some woods near the  Wapsipinicon River
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The Glass Cabin is located in rural Iowa, in some woods near the  Wapsipinicon River
The Glass Cabin is raised on stilts to minimize ground disturbance and protect against flooding
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The Glass Cabin is raised on stilts to minimize ground disturbance and protect against flooding
The Glass Cabin has 1,120 sq ft (104 sq m) of floorspace
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The Glass Cabin has 1,120 sq ft (104 sq m) of floorspace
The Glass Cabin runs totally off-the-grid with solar panels and a battery array
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The Glass Cabin runs totally off-the-grid with solar panels and a battery array

Atelier Risting recently completed this nice example of a rural cabin on a farm owned by the same family for over 150 years. Partly constructed with reclaimed materials, it's raised on stilts, runs off-the-grid, and serves as an idyllic vacation retreat to get away from it all.

The Glass Cabin is located in rural Iowa, on a reclaimed prairie near the Wapsipinicon River, and measures 1,120 sq ft (104 sq m). It was both designed and constructed by architect Steven Risting, who had a little help from family and friends, and consists of a western red cedar structure, siding and decking.

The dwelling is raised on stilts to minimize ground disturbance and protect against flooding. Views of the prairie can be had through Low-E insulated energy-efficient glass left over from a commercial office expansion provides and, in a nice touch, the glazing at the front of the cabin can also be secured with sliding barn door-style covers when unoccupied.

The Glass Cabin's interior is dominated by a living room
The Glass Cabin's interior is dominated by a living room

Inside, the Glass Cabin is centered around a living room with seating and a wood-burning stove. Nearby lies a kitchenette, a couple of bedrooms with frosted glass for privacy, and a bathroom. There are also storage areas and two terraces.

The decor is unfussy but very well done, and it's no surprise the project has already received an AIA Design Award.

The cabin runs off-the-grid with solar panels and a battery array, and the toilet is a composting model. A greywater recycling system is installed, and the interior is cooled both with ceiling fans and naturally with operable windows and sliding patio doors. Insulation is rated to R-30 on the floor, and R-22 and R-15 on the roof and walls, respectively.

Source: Atelier Risting

2 comments
ljaques
All that insulation is instantly negated by all that glass, at a R-1 to R-3 rating. I don't understand all these glass homes. Most people prefer going out into the yard instead of watching it from inside. <shrug>
Don Duncan
A maintenance nightmare and energy glutton. No garage? No outbuildings? No garden or fruit trees? What is done here?