Cabin 1 is located in one of the major meadows at Coffee Ridge. CW wanted to take advantage of both the visual and physical connection of the meadow and the social potential of the porch overlooking the meadow.
The platform or “porch” responds to the meadow by stepping gradually from ground level to the cabin platform. This physical connection to the meadow allows the occupant to enjoy both the openness and social connection of the meadow without creating a privacy issue given the elevation change.
The shelter defines both the exterior and interior space with one sweeping form while the pod hovers above the grass offing a framed view back to the field. The cabin in this case acts less like a building and more like a pavilion by having the major spaces outdoors.
Cabin 2: The Tree House
The Tree House was destined to occupy the trees as it sits in a dense part of the forest.
The platform hovers above the ground and has a direct view of the surrounding wildlife occupying the nearby trees. With a more inward focus, the cabin utilizes a vernacular “Dog Trout” porch defining the primary living space of the cabin. This outdoor living room separates the dining and kitchen pod from the sleeping and bath pod. This separation creates a clear disconnect between the public dining area where guests are served meals and the more intimate space of the bedroom.
The shelter uses one simple form to define all the spaces and bleeds down the facade to create stronger barriers between the private bedrooms and the nearby hiking trail. An additional louver component was placed to mimic the vertical lines of the forest also providing an operable edge to block off the view from nearby trails. With the cabin’s ability to transform public space into private space, the cabin can be located closer to hiking trails giving the occupants quick access to mountainous exploration.
Cabin 3: Meadow View
Cabin 3 connects the bedroom with the meadow while elevating the major spaces for a great view.
The Platform and Canopy blend and wrap together to define the major space on the 2nd level of the cabin. The 2nd level features the outdoor living and dining areas along with the kitchen and interior dining area. This elevated position gives the occupants a great view of the meadow and nearby trees.
The pod takes a secondary position on the second floor but acts as a base on the first level, housing the bedroom and bathroom area. With regular openings to the outdoors, the guest can open up their private space to the grassy meadow creating a physical connection between the bedroom and nature.
Cabin 4: Secret
Cabin 4, named Secret is off the beaten path. Tucked away in the woods by itself this cabin offers the most privacy from the rest of the resort and allows guests to escape from it all.
The Hiking Hideaway
As the name suggests, this cabin is isolated and tucked away from the other guests and buildings at Coffee Ridge. The dwelling sits at the edge of a major hiking trail on the property, just down from the Appalachian Trail.
The Hiking Hideaway is the furthest from the Hub and Spa offering a truly private experience for guests to connect with nature
Cabin 6: The Scene
Bending to maximize the view, the Scene offers a visual connection to the surrounding mountains and sunrise. The steep site allows guests to occupy the lower-level outdoor space while still maintaining a great view of Hub and Spa thousands of feet down in the valley below.
Cabin 7: Ridge Pointe
Ridge Pointe Cabin sits atop one of the tallest points at Coffee Ridge. The unique design uses solid and void elements to create a mix of privacy and view. The juxtaposing solids and voids create framed views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Through the use of skylights and glazing the cabin provides an extraordinary amount of natural light making the spaces feel large and open.
Cabin 8: Sky Mountain Penthouse
Inspired by the geology of East Tennessee, Sky Mountian serves as the largest dwelling. It offers guests penthouse-level luxury atop one of Coffee Ridge’s highest points. With 180 degrees of view, the dwelling’s primary indoor and outdoor space reaches out to the scenery of the mountains and sky. The lower level anchors the building using the visual weight of mass and stone to offer a connection to the surrounding earth. The upper level visually floats above the 1st level connecting guests with the surrounding sky.
CONCEPTUALIZING THE OVERALL
With such a similar program and context, variations in the cabins pose a unique architectural challenge. CW architects began by studying the program and the surroundings each cabin site offered the future occupants. Thinking broadly, the reason for the stay at Coffee Ridge is to enjoy the wellness benefits nature has to offer. The first revelation of a universal concept tied to the context began with just that. The realization was that the outdoor spaces in each building were the primary spaces while the interior spaces were secondary. Thinking of the outdoors as the served and the interiors as the service we began exploring “inside-out” architectural concepts. This realization, however, does not instill uniqueness in the structures. To achieve a balance between unique buildings offering variation and a level of cohesiveness that creates a strong overall identity, CW began to think of the buildings as a “kit of parts” that can be reconfigured and repurposed to solve specific site and program-driven variables at each cabin.
THE KIT OF PARTS
The components that make up the cabins of Coffee Ridge are thought of separately and arranged in different ways to create uniqueness in each cabin.
Nature: A sloped ground plane without human activity.
The Platform: While walking through nature, especially in East Tennessee, you rarely find level ground. The Platform is the first architectural component we need to perform any activity. A level surface for enjoying a meal, laying in bed, or any number of functions buildings need to operate. The cabins should feature a hovering platform to both enjoy the activities within and delicately touch the sensitive, steep-sloping surfaces of the ground plane.
The Platform: A hovering surface built to provide a place for program and activity
The Canopy: Shelter is perhaps a building’s most basic pragmatic benefit to the occupant. Most activities related to architecture need a shelter to shed water and block sunlight. The shelter can come in a variety of shapes and sizes but selecting simple forms is preferred to match the vernacular architecture of the area.
The Canopy: A shelter to provide protection from the elements for the activity.
The Structure: Combining the canopy and structure, poetic connections can be made between the canopies of buildings and the surrounding trees. Similar to the trunks of the tree supporting the forest canopy, the posts support the man-made canopy structure of our buildings.
The Pod: A temperature-controlled environment for sensitive program
The Pod: While the majority of the focus is exterior space, there are some activities that need conditioning. The pod is a volume of temperature control placed separately from the other components. A necessity to provide comfort for guests during harsh months while offering the design freedom of position.
Once the elements are placed these kit elements then get modified based upon the context, program, and other parts in the kit.
Element Modification: Allowing the elements in the kit to be manipulated by the program, context, and each other.