(TMU) — In the summer of 2011, shortly after meeting at an artist residency in Pennsylvania, Nick Olson took Lilah Horwitz on their first date, a camping trip to his favorite spot on his family’s property in West Virginia.
Nick wanted Lilah to experience the sunset over the West Virginia Mountains from the edge of the forest with a lake in the forefront.
Not surprisingly, considering the beautiful setting they found themselves in, Lilah, an artist with a passion for sewing, and Nick, a photographer and carpenter who builds things to earn a living, started talking about their first home and building it themselves on the family’s land.
There were plenty of old, disused barns on the property from where they could salvage and scrape their savings together for whatever else they needed. “
We hadn’t known each other for very long, but this idea of home and shelter and shared space became central in our relationship,” Lilah told Curbed.
Artists Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz built a home with a wall created entirely out of re-purposed windows – http://rgs.me/1aaeAMx#livelightly
The couple had no wish to move into someone else’s ready-made space but rather desired to create their own from scratch, together. Just seven months later they decided to give it a go with the bit of money they had and quit their jobs.
Of course, the perfect place to build their home was the spot where they had their first date, where they could watch the sun set every day. To achieve their goal, they had planned to construct the front wall of the cabin, facing the lake and mountains, from old windows which bought or salvaged from discard piles at antique markets and salvage yards.
They spent about $500 on materials and hardware. According to Nick, they reclaimed about 90% of the materials from the abandoned barns which included nails, boards, beams, roofing and some windows.
Architekt: LILAH HORWITZ AND NICK OLSON, Photography: Lilah Horwitz, Copyright #Gestalten 2016.
With knowledge gleaned from the local library and YouTube tutorials, they tackled deconstructing the barns for what they needed to build their cabin. The project took about seven months to complete and the results are stunning in its simplicity.
“It was very wonderful to bring our little things together, our little mementos and things we’ve built and put them in a home together, and I could look and say, ‘Wow I even put a roof over my head,'” Lilah said.
Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz's glass house in the woods
According to Nick, their home is constructed “less from a builder’s perspective and more from an artist’s perspective,” and designed to “experience the changing light throughout the day in an interior space.”
Lilah & Nick http://dionisopunk.com/2016/03/13/windows/
Shortly after completing the project, the couple moved to Milwaukee to earn and save some money while visiting the cabin to get away from city life. They also planned to add an outdoor bathroom and summer kitchen.
The experience has ignited their desire to create more self builds and they hope to buy some land to create a village with experimental homes. We hope it’s not too long before we see more of their work!
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