Is it still the dream of every architect to build his (her) own house? Maybe not right now, when practices are concentrating on surviving the rough economic times. Okay, but how about a last stand against all trouble - a refuge back of beyond, a shelter to retreat to on one of those rare free weekends, when you just need to clear your mind of the latest competition proposal, and the next deadline is looming?
Berlin-based AFF Architekten admit that they struggle, too. But they seem to be the kind of people who have a talent for coming up with a solution: if the market makes it difficult for us, then we keep busy making our dreams come true. That's positive thinking indeed. And one of their dreams was to build an 80 M2 cabin in the Ore Mountains, close to the town of Oberwiesenthal. Bunker-like, spartan: that's right, something to make you feel safe, and a perfect space for Zen. Pretty rough concrete, decorated with a few light fixtures, and partly shaped by the walls of the wooden hut that previously stood on the site. No insulation and no water for flushing the toilet. For heating you burn what you find in the forest in an old recycled oven, or in a new, hightech one made in Switzerland. The 200 kilogram front door is also the only door in the building. Appliances are very basic, second-hand objects that the AFF architects have collected over the years. The flooring is made from trees felled right beside the cabin. All this for 729 euros per cubic metre, plus the luxury of nature all around the house for free. Rumour has it that AFF has already received numerous inquiries from people wanting to rent the place.