top of page

The Sod-Lam Trekking Cabin

**Winner in American Institute of Architects’ DC Chapter Unbuilt Awards, 2017**



Type: Recreational Housing

Size: 700 sf

Project Text

The Sod-Lam Trekking Tower builds on the lineage of Icelandic vernacular architecture and the intuition to use the earth as thermal protection in the colder arctic climate. This project proposes to use up to .5m sod layers to form the trekking cabin’s thermal envelope. Supporting this living, thermal skin will be a laminated reclaimed wood shell. Hence, Sod-Lam; a vertical trekking cabin made from layers of earth and trees. The cabin takes the approach of minimal footprint. Thus, it goes up rather than out and only occupies 120 sq. ft. of Iceland’s ground plane. The sleeping, bathing, and storage spaces then ascend into the air, giving hikers new views of Iceland’s memorizing landscape.



Seth McDowell


©mcdowellespinosa architects

bottom of page