Designboom shares "Le Tronc Creux," a "nature hut" concept from French design firm Bruit Du Frigo that resembles a giant studded log. The details: "... the small dwellings are originally conceived from the idea of forming a hiking path surrounding the city [Bordeaux], helping to connect the waste lands, parks and forests. The circular volumes provide local inhabitants with the option of escaping on a short holiday — without traveling far from home. Featuring an undulating façade of cut-out windows and black wooden details marking its exterior, the structure is atypical to most mountain refuges. However, it still provides a similar atmosphere and purpose, and on the interior there is enough space to sleep 9 people comfortably. Reconnecting to a simple life, there are no lights and no water, just family and friends in a peaceful setting, right next to home."

The Atlantic Cities reports on a most interesting example of creative reuse: handmade dishware — mugs, saucers, etc. — crafted from "the needle-infested plague-turf of San Francisco's famously filthy, drug-infested neighborhood, the Tenderloin." These dirt dishes of unsavory origin are the focal point of an exhibition showing now at Ramon's Tailor Gallery titled Tenderloin Dirt Harvest. "Most people I have spoken with demonstrate a visible disgust at the idea of touching the ground here, so through this installation I’m challenging people to experience a beautiful version of this neighborhood," explains artist Illana Crispi.

Co.Exist takes a closer look at Pico-dwelling, Steve Sauer's storage space-turned-ingenious micro-apartment concept in Seattle (I previously covered the cleverly configured 182 square foot residence here). Says Sauer, an engineer by trade who also maintains a "normal-sized" condo for the sake of his 14-year-old daughter, of his endeavor: "The world has always seen luxury as big, especially in America. I just get a kick out of using the smallest thing I can to get somewhere, pushing those engineering limits."

TreeHugger attempts to answer an ages old question: Does shipping container architecture make sense? The long answer short in the opinion of Lloyd Alter: Sometimes.

The New York Times singles out a few notable big-budget haunted houses — "mega haunts," if you will — from across the country. Inimitable spook showman Rob Zombie who collaborated on own $2 million haunted house (okay, three of them) in Ponoma, Calif., singles out Disneyland's Haunted Mansion as a key influence: “Going into the Haunted Mansion as a kid, your jaw drops. The attention to detail at Disneyland is outrageous. That’s what I want to be able to do here.” He adds: “My approach has been to create that weird, unnerving feeling that you can’t shake. I like to screw with your head.”

Curbed eyes a property that recently hit the market: a cozy two-bedroom teepee in Cascade, Idaho with a price tag of $110K. Reads the listing: " ... when your life steers you to a teepee out in the middle of nowhere, it's clearly less about the accommodations and more about the simpler things in life: clean air, a bubbling brook and a wood deck for rocking back and forth whilst taking in those pure mountain views."

Gizmodo is treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the Brooklyn Navy Yard factory where B2, a 32-story residential tower slated to be erected in Brooklyn's Atlantic Yard, is being assembled. Once completed, the tower, composed of modular, LEGO-esque units, will be the tallest prefab structure in America. Explains Roger Krulack, a Senior Vice President at NYC mega-developer Forest City Ratner: “Modular housing has developed incredibly well. And we believe it’s the same thing with larger buildings—probably more so—because of the economies of scale."

The Los Angeles Times has an idea on how to spend any free time committed to DIY-minded Halloween decor projects: Transform a pumpkin into a rather lovely planter for succulents.

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Pumpkin planters, mega haunts and log-shaped nature huts [Weekend link clump]
This week: High-concept haunted houses, gourds transformed into succulent planters and a rather curious-looking nature retreat from France.