The final site plan was determined in situ: WXY’s designers staked the location of each cabin with flags and adjusted the composition in the rolling landscape to give the perception of diverse forms, while leaving the forest as untouched as possible.
The cabin’s exteriors are simple, comprising unfinished cedar shingles, ipe decking, and galvalume roofing. “It was important that [the buildings] speak to our early group of 1930s cabins, but are built with an aesthetic that’s contemporary,” says Angelyn Chandler, the former deputy commissioner for capital programs of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (she recently joined the New York City Economic Development Corp.). The shingles match those cladding utility structures in the park and will eventually weather to camouflage with the surrounding trees, a mix of species that includes cedar.
The cabins’ irregularly pitched roofs emphasize the site’s terrain on the exterior and help define living spaces in the interior. On both cabin configurations, the roof ridge line matches the boundary between interior and exterior spaces. In each cabin, the low point in the roofline shelters the master bedroom, ensuring the quietest space is also the most snug and private.
The interiors are even simpler than the envelope, and feature ash plank flooring, 8-inch-wide tongue-and-groove knotty pine wall boards nailed directly to the studs, and birch plywood board-and-batten ceilings. “We used very traditional materials on the cabin,” Weisz says, “but stripped the form to its essential features.”
The cabins’ simple program includes a bathroom, kitchenette, and screened outdoor porch. In the two-bedroom unit, the kitchen/living area is 12 feet wide by 23 feet long; a barn door to the second bedroom can slide open to enlarge the communal space during the day. The living area of the one-bedroom variation is just 12.5 feet by 16 feet, but opens onto a screen porch for additional square footage. The kitchens are small, but each is equipped with a sink, refrigerator, microwave, and electric range cooktop with oven, as well as DuPont Corian countertops. Bathrooms are somewhat sparse, but fully accessible with zero-entry showers.