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Skinny, sustainable and Thoreau-inspired
Nils Holger Moormann's prefab garden shed/cabin, Walden, packs a whole lot of green living into an impossibly thin amount of space.
I’ve come across plenty of garden sheds/backyard retreats that are all sorts of small but Walden, a portable prefab structure from German architect Nils Holger Moormann, takes the cake when it comes to skinny: it’s only three-feet wide, not much more wide than your average swing door.
Constructed from lightweight wood and meant to serve a variety of purposes beyond just simple garden shed — backyard office facade, perhaps? — Walden makes the most of a limited amount of space with a bunch of nifty exterior compartments for stashing outdoor/gardening gear, a living/dining area that can squeeze in four people, and even a sleeping loft with a skylight that’s accessed via a hidden staircase.
Moormann’s Walden, as you probably gathered, is inspired by Walden, the eco-lit classic by Henry David Thoreau. Although Moormann’s architectural take on Thoreau’s transcendentalist, treehugging tome appears to be more about living claustrophobically than deliberately, I still dig the concept behind it. Here’s how the designer himself describes his creation:
‘Walden. Or, Life in the woods’ is the name of a story from the American writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, written in the mid 19th century, which describes his life and his relationship with nature. The concept of simple life influenced the garden-project from Nils Holger Moormann, which invites one to live outdoors.
Determined garden-owners are able to store various tools such as shovel, rake and wheelbarrow in this ‘wooden box’ of unusual proportions. Easy goers have to decide whether to take a seat at the table in the seating cabin, or climb a ladder to the upper level. There it’s possible to enjoy the view or to stretch out and guess cloud shapes or count stars under the sliding sun roof. The obligation of a campfire is created in a swinging fire cauldron, and right beside it, the necessary space for firewood.
As a whole, ‘Walden’ offers lots of room for things we associate with ‘garden’ and ‘outdoors’ and honours them with a layout, in which they can be seen: birdhouse and bird seed, flower pot and water can, grill utensils and picnic table. Actually, you’ll never want to go back in the house.
What exactly do you think of Moormann's tribute to Walden? Outdoors-inspiring or cabin fever-inducing?