A Retreat Designed To Disappear Into Its Surroundings


Reflective solar paneled glass ensures that this prefabricated, zero-waste house ‘Disappear Retreat’ by Coulson blends with its surroundings and provides extensive views onto the landscape.

Minnesota-based architecture studio Coulson designed ‘Disappear Retreat’ as a zero-waste, zero-water, zero-energy home. “Our passion for the environment is not just technical, but extends to the experience of nature,” the architects said. The 8x10x9 foot structure is incredibly compact and requires no active heating or cooling systems: a spotted pattern of thin-film PV in the south glass wall and solar panels in the glass roof and walls generate all the energy necessary to power the house from the sun. Rainwater is collected off the shed roof, filtered, treated, and stored in a tank for potable water use on-site, allowing ‘Disappear Retreat’ to be transported to remote locations.

The idea for ‘Disappear Retreat’ was inspired by the psychedelic northern lights: the architects envisioned a self-sufficient home where the cosmos could not only be seen but felt in the house. They wanted to create a place where the inhabitants feel connected to the plant in an intense way. The building is entirely wrapped in glass glazing, helping the building to visually blend in with its environs. The firm used a transparent ultraviolet colored glass to prevent animal collisions.


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