Call it library style. A small open-air hut built for a children’s outdoor education program has a facade of empty bookshelves, designed to provide both shelter and display space for treasures–feathers, rocks, and leaves–that young campers may find in the forest.
Austrian nonprofit agency Waldeulen asked architects Bernd Riegger Architektur for a design that would engage children of all ages, from pre-schoolers to adolescents. The result, nicknamed “Waldsetzkasten” (which translates roughly to “Forest Display Case”) has no trouble capturing our slightly older imaginations as well:
Photography by Adolf Bereuter courtesy of Bernd Riegger.
Above: Sited in a forest in western Austria near the borders of Switzerland and Germany, the wooden hut “encourages playful learning” and provides shelter against inclement weather, say the architects.
Above: The building’s framework is made of rough-sawn spruce planks and its peaked roof is covered in asphalt shingles.
Above: “Display areas are used by the children to store and exhibit all the wonderful things they have found,” say the architects, “or as an insect hotel, or even as a place to leave food for the forest inhabitants.”
Above: The hut’s open porch is sided in shelving.
Above: Large windows give children views of what’s happening in the surrounding woods during a rainstorm.
Above: Tongue-and-groove spruce paneling and exposed rafters lend the interior an airy feeling. Furnished with simple seating and a tabletop, the hut also is a spot where the children eat lunch.
Above: For more of our favorite cabins in the woods, see Required Reading: 61 Cabins to Lust For.
N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published on September 4, 2015.