Tiny House: Off-Grid Cabin on Flathead Lake in Montana

Reader Contribution by Susan Melgren and Web Editor
1 / 4
2 / 4
3 / 4
4 / 4

Located near Flathead Lake in Montana, this 830-square-foot wood cabin, perched atop a cliff that locals refer to as the Matterhorn, was designed as a natural setting in which the homeowners could watch osprey nesting in the surrounding Ponderosa pine forest. Designed by Andersson Wise Architects, the cabin was built with respect for the land. To reduce impact on its natural environment, the cabin was built off-site then installed above the ground on six pillars anchored on concrete foundations–which were laid by hand, not machines, so as to preserve local vegetation and not disturb nearby wildlife.

Six steel pillars elevate the cabin above the ground, allowing local vegetation to grow underneath.

Completely off-grid, the cabin relies on passive solar orientation for natural heating and cooling. The open interior incorporates one bedroom, a living area, and a small kitchen and bathroom. Large windows provide natural lighting while connecting the home to nature and allowing the owners to take in panoramic views of the surrounding lake and trees. The home’s wood floor extends outside to a deck and small bridge that cover the slope.

Perched atop a granite and slate cliff near Lake Flathead, the cabin must be approached on foot–another design feature that minimizes disruption of the cabin’s natural surroundings.

Large windows offer panoramic views of the surrounding forest, making the cabin an ideal place to watch nearby nesting osprey.

Images By Art Gray/Courtesy Andersson Wise Architects