Wee Ely

Designed by Dale Mulfinger

Built as a modest off the grid retreat just outside the BWCA, this 600-square-foot cabin uses principles from Christopher Alexander’s The Pattern Language in it’s design. This book outlines the common ways that cities, institutions, businesses, and homes are designed; from big ideas down to small details. Many of these patterns can be easily applied to a cabin in a natural setting: “South Facing Outdoors”, “Structure Follow the Social Space”, “Staircase as Stage” and “A Zen View” as some examples used to create the Wee Ely.

The site for this cabin is a rocky ridge covered with mature pines, making traditional building techniques difficult. For safety and ease of construction, the roof was assembled off-site and placed in one piece onto the timber framing. A nearby sauna was built using the same methods.

Construction by Wee Cabin Company
Photographs by Troy Thies

Star Tribune, October 2019