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.

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.

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