Delta Shelter

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Seattle-based architecture firm Olson Kundig built this steel box. And we wouldn’t mind living in it. Or at least spending a long weekend in it. Taking up just 200 square feet of space on the ground, it stands on four steel columns (a move inspired by the 100-year floodplain the house sits on) and offers 1,000 square feet of living space. It’s virtually indestructible — this structure will no doubt be there for the long haul.

The real draw of the Delta Shelter is the surrounding forty-acres of forested land, adjacent to the Methow River in central Washington, so the designers kept the focus on the landscape with a minimal, modernist design and lots of windows. Since the house was going to be left on its own for parts of the year, the steel-clad house has the ability to be locked down with massive rolling shutters, operated by a giant steel wheel inside the house.

Inside, two bedrooms and baths occupy the lower level with the top level providing a living area and kitchen (and incomparable views) plus cantilevered decks for hanging out or even sleeping on, high above the forest floor and a few yards closer to the stars.