Casa Miedi Larch Hut

Arboreal Architecture, Umbria, 2011


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Forest view 

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  • Forest view    
  • Forest location    
  • View towards forest    
  • Forest view    
  • Side elevation    
  • Corner detail    
  • Window detail    
  • Roof detail    
  • Interior with screen    
  • Interior bench    
  • Interior table and bed    
  • Interior forest view    
  • Site plan    
  • Plan    
  • Site section    
  • Short section    
  • Elevation    
  • Exploded section    
  • wall detail - plan    
  • wall detail - section    
  • roof detail - section    
  • window detail - plan    

Demountable timber retreat set in a pine forest in the Umbrian hills

Arboreal Architecture were approached by a private client to design a small demountable hut set in a pine forest in the grounds of a 17th century Umbrian farmhouse in Italy.

The brief asked for a multi-function space: a sleepover, private retreat for meditation, a nature hide, a secret reading place. The timber deck, wall and roof panels were prefabricated in a local joinery and assembled in just two days in June 2011, leaving the site intact on completion of construction.

The vertical Larch cladding on the exterior is rough-sawn to encourage lichen growth while the interior Larch surfaces are sanded smooth. The floor, walls and roof are insulated with sheep’s wool and the windows are double glazed. The interior spaces are formed from a series of cross-beams which provide stability to the structure and create integrated pieces of furniture – bed, bench, desk and shelf. Windows are located in each corner of the space creating surprising views and qualities of light.

Environmental Strategy

The environmental strategy for the project focussed on a lightweight building footprint, the use of renewable materials and the non-provision of mains services. The process of construction has a minimal impact on the forest floor as it rests on a pre-existing concrete structure, was fabricated entirely off-site and erected in two days. Cross ventilation is provided by diagonally placed opening windows and a rechargeable solar lamp for lighting at night time.

The renewable materials employed were larch timber, recycled wood fibre board and sheep’s wool. The external cladding actively encourages biodiversity by anticipating the growth of lichens and mosses on the rough surfaces.


  • Begun: Jan 2011
  • Completed: Jun 2011
  • Floor area: 11m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £25,000
  • Tender date: Nov 2010
  • Procurement: Negotiated tender
  • Address: Casa Miedi, San Leo Bastia, Citta di Castello, Umbria, 06010, Italy

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