Whetzel Hollow

This wooded and rocky site in West Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains provides a breathtaking backdrop for this subtle, spacious, and modern retreat with vast expanses of glass that invite a quiet intermingling between exterior and interior worlds.

Integration into the base of the hill and its surrounding terrain spearheaded our design. The cabin’s location provides a subtle cradle from the elements, while endowing it with a liberal canvas where we could gently stretch the footprint. We clad the exterior in Shou Sugi Ban wood siding that converses with and almost disappears into the rugged terrain and bark of the surrounding trees. A cedar canopy greets visitors at the main entrance, along with firewood stacked and masked by a wood screen.

Echoing the multi levels of the treescape – yet still expanding horizontally to avoid imposition – we employed three volumes to highlight the varying functions of the structure. The tallest space marks the entrance and main point of circulation, easing the transition from open sky to enclosure. To the left, the mid-level area offers an open-plan living, kitchen, and dining space where the division between the exterior and interior are softened by way of vast panes of glass that invite light and absorb the natural elements into the protected human space.

A soaring black suspended stove provides a striking modern focus – a central hearth where family and friends can gather before retreating to bedrooms nestled comfortably in the area of the home that has the most-intimate ceiling height.

The rear of the cabin opens to an elegant raised deck that provides ample space for outdoor entertaining or a simple moment of communion with the environment. Finally, completing the celebration of the natural elements, a generous wood-sided spa beckons the weary to lay aside their woes and connect to a deeper source.