There’s a Cabin Hidden On This London Roof

published Aug 27, 2017
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

When we think of staying in a cabin, we tend to envision a cozy hideaway in the woods situated far away from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life. But there’s an unusual form—definitely not your idea of the traditional log house—in east London that’s hiding in plain sight on top of a row of artists’ studios, warehouses and event spaces.

Dubbed the “H-VAC,” this extraordinarily creative “hidden” rooftop cabin designed by PUP architects is cleverly disguised as an air vent. Yes, an opening that allows air to pass out of a confined area is now a legitimate dwelling, and it looks as cool as it sounds.

To the unsuspecting passerby, the cabin appears to be just another one of those random, bulky aluminum air vents we see on the tops of various buildings, only it’s actually constructed out of reversible tetra-pak shingles. The inside consists of a small room that has a window and a pair of benches that can seat up to six people. Visitors access the interior through a hung staircase.

“H-VAC” was the winning entry in “Antepavilion,” an international competition hosted by the UK’s Architecture Foundation in which 128 designers submitted proposals that explored “alternative ways of living in the city and engaged with issues of sustainability and recycling,” according to the organization’s site.

This is quite possibly one of the coolest rooftop hangouts ever, but PUP intends for the project to deliver a much more important message.

“While permitted development exists for large scale infrastructural roof installations, little challenge has been made for other viable and productive uses for rooftops,” PUP says of its cabin. “By subverting the form of the permitted and giving it a non-standard use, we hope to bring into question this order of priorities.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to explore H-VAC in person from September 16-17 during London’s Open House Weekend.