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A Perfect Summertime Retreat—Built for $22,500

6/7/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tags: tiny house, tiny home, off grid living, Massachusetts

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailDreaming of a summertime getaway? Check out this retreat that’s light on the land and lets occupants taste the benefits of tent camping—with a little more protection and convenience.

Built for $22,500, the Swamp Hut in Newton, Massachusetts, is a series of four 8-by-12-foot A-frame huts (580 square feet total) that create a protective enclosure around a central deck with a fireplace. Keith Moskow of Moskow Linn Architects developed the structure, which is elevated on 4-by-4-inch posts, as a kit of parts that could be assembled in any number of configurations.

The Swamp Hut took three months to build and is fully off the grid. The dining hut on the south side is open to the sky and juts out over the swamp for which the complex is named, and the aluminum-roofed “cleansing” hut on the north contains a pantry, storage, a composting toilet and a solar shower. Sleeping huts, sheathed in translucent fiberglass, are on the east and west sides. The structures are built from off-the-shelf plywood, and leftovers were used to make the dining table, benches and shelves.

Moskow and his partner, Robert Linn, have been perfecting the Swamp Hut concept for nearly 20 years. They proposed it as a disaster housing solution and an eco-resort before they decided to construct it themselves on a remote piece of land, carrying in every piece of material and building it by hand.

swamp hut 1 

The Swamp Hut has been awarded an American Institute of Architects Small Project Award and a Boston Society of Architects Honor Award for Design. 

swamp hut 2 

The dining area is left open to the sky. 

swamp hut 3 

Designed to sit lightly on its swampy site, the complex is elevated on 4-by-4-inch posts. 

swamp hut sleeping hut 

The sleeping huts on the east and west sides are sheathed in translucent plastic. 

swamp hut plan 



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