Russia's famous Trans-Siberian Railway is the world's longest railway line at 9,289 km (5,771 miles), linking Moscow to the Russian Far East and serving as a gateway to China, Mongolia, and North Korea. Those making the journey will soon have the option of taking a pitstop in some odd-looking new wooden cabins designed by UK firm Kamvari Architects.

Kamvari Architects got the nod for the Siberian Retreat project following an architectural competition. According to the firm, the unusual elongated "neck" references local materials, customs, and buildings. It also helps to make the cabins more visible to passing travelers.

The cabins will sit atop a raised 6 x 8 m (20 x 26 ft) base, with the elongated section rising to a maximum height of 20 m (65 ft). Inside, the cabins will include a shop, restroom, and storage area. The interiors will be kept cool passively with natural ventilation. However, heating seems much more of a challenge in that part of the world, which is something that the elongated shape is also supposed to help with.

"The funnel like pinnacle lifted above the building, condenses the air into a heatable volume which is then sucked through the structure minimizing the use of external sources for heating and cooling," says the firm.

We quizzed project director Omid Kamvari for more information on how this would work and whether a mini-split system, air-source pump or something similar would be used. We were told that this is still to be decided as the design is refined.

The cabins will be prefabricated using local materials and delivered in two parts using the tracks themselves, before being placed into position and joined together.

That part of the world isn't exactly known for its balmy winters, so naturally there's likely going to be some serious weatherproofing going on, but finer details on the insulation hasn't yet been revealed either.

Developer CDS Nord has signed up to build five Siberian Retreat cabins in early 2018, with more likely to be built in the future.

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