Out of the Woods

Schutzhütte by AFF Architekten

A simple Saxony countryside retreat in raw, poured concrete brings a whole new perspective to the idea of the cabin in the woods
Wallpaper* magazine issue 140

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German studio AFF Architekten has built up quite a reputation for unconventional interventions that use raw materials and striking topographical forms. We were quite taken with its museum conversion of Schloss Freudenstein in, Freiberg, Saxony in 2007 (see W*128), and now they have wowed us again with a simple countryside retreat, again in Saxony. Built out of raw, poured concrete, the new Schutzhütte am Fichtelberg is equipped with the minimum of comforts: stove, fireplace, pinewood floors, beds, lights and windows that open onto a densely forested landscape. This woodland “hut” looks a bit like what might happen if sculptor Rachel Whiteread got lost in the woods with Henry David Thoreau; a post-industrial Walden that is an impressive exercise in the luxury of the elementary…