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

‘Less is Enough’ at tiny cabin on edge of BWCA, Star Tribune, October 2019