The Origin of the Name

Almost from Day 1 of the project, the little cabin was begging for a name. Or maybe that was just me; I have, after all, spent many hours with my nose in books by the likes of Tolkien and Austen, in which the halls, cots, manors, castles, Hobbit holes and lodges tended to have names of their own. Besides, a name adds to the spirit of a place.

Fairly early in the design process, during one of those late nights when my mind would not shut off from its design work to allow me to sleep, the interior aesthetic suddenly fell into place and gave stronger direction to the project. The vision formed of pale birch tongue-and-groove walls and clean, modernist Scandinavian lines and details. A-ha:  Finnish sauna. The size isn’t far off, either. Cranking up the little wood stove could potentially bring the theme to life in all too real a way (not a desirable circumstance, so I’ll go easy on the stoking).

Simultaneously, my interest in Nordic runes was deepening and  dove-tailed with the cabin’s new-found theme via an idea to use runic symbols as a design motif throughout. As the project nears completion or sometime thereafter as time permits, I will be honing my pyrography skills and blazing little runes into the edges of counter tops, shelving and whatever other wood surfaces present themselves. A cabin emblazoned with runes– what more appropriate name could there be than Runehaven?

circle of runestones

While we’re here, I’ll post the latest project photo:

framing

framing

The Birth of Runehaven

And so it begins.

Runehaven is a soon-to-be a 200 square foot mobile cabin… the vehicle for a new lifestyle. Think Henry David Thoreau. Think Romani vardo. Think Zen monk. It may be a nomadic life… or not… depending on how often Runehaven takes to the road. Time will tell, adventures await.

Construction began this week. Currently residing about a two-hour drive from where the cabin is being built, I am mostly viewing progress from a stream of photos sent by the builder. It is taking shape quickly and my excitement builds as I watch my new home materialize. I’ve put the past nine months of my life into the design; with a background in architecture, it’s been a thrilling challenge to build a custom life-responsive layout within such a limited envelope. Those of you familiar with the Tiny House Movement are aware that to keep a mobile structure highway-legal (in order to avoid the need for special trip permits during transport), the width limit is 8-1/2 feet, and I opted for a 22′ long design (20′ enclosed, with a 2′ sheltered exterior porch). The project is a co-design, as the starting point was a shape created by the builder. I lengthened it, moved the entry from the side to the end wall, added a balcony and a sheltered porch, and started from scratch with the interior. I’ve left the systems and structural engineering to the builder and focused on the spatial and material aspects.

This blog is to be about Runehaven and the various goings-on there. I hope you will be part of my adventures.

trailer foundation

trailer foundation

ribs of the whale

ribs of the whale