JCPCDR nestles 'the observatory' timber cabin in a french forest

JCPCDR nestles 'the observatory' timber cabin in a french forest

as part of an international call to construct an ephemeral cabin in the heart of lake annecy in france, JCPCDR architecture has won first prize with ‘the observatory’. the competition, titled ‘le festival des cabanes’, stipulated that the intervention must be built using wood from the region and constructed on site by the architects. the winning project deconstructs the typical cabin to create a contemporary building that offers views out to the stunning natural surroundings.

all images © david foessel



the observatory is nestled under the trees and intentionally positioned to gain views out over the clearing of the forest. upon arriving at the structure, walkers are led via a ramp to a small elevated platform, where they can enjoy a moment of calm amidst nature. the ramp is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers and is designed by JCPCDR as a continuation of the slope of the site.



with its double-pitched roof, the observatory recalls the vernacular image of a traditional cabin or cottage, reinvented by graphic lines. the spacing of the wooden slats, however, provides a twist on tradition by merging indoor and outdoor environments. the user first enters the observatory under an opaque roof and becomes familiar with this dark atmosphere, before moving towards the platform, which is bathed in light thanks to the open structure.



constructed entirely from fir timber, the observatory perfectly integrates into its forest environment. it allows not only to observe the fauna and flora, but thanks to its porous design, offers a refuge for plants and animals. throughout the seasons, the contemporary architectural object becomes a showcase for the environment, offering a place to observe nature and an altogether immersive experience.



project info:


project name: ‘the observatory’

architect: JCPCDR architecture

competition: le festival des cabanes

photography: david foessel


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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