TKE Sleeping Cabin

sleeping cabin intsleeping cabin under construction

The TKE Sleeping Cabin is made from a single layer of locally logged and milled tongue-in-groove hemlock. It is anchored to the ground—to layers of forest humus and glacial clay—with pins. The bottom line is that the massive timber in the walls and floor are sequestering carbon dioxide equivalent to that emitted by generating energy for a more conventional home for year. The longer story is that the owners did a very careful job choosing someone to selectively harvest this wood from a standing forest and a surgical anchoring of the cabin in the forest without permanent scaring from excavation or concrete. FLOAT can take credit for material and schematic design. Schematic design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design; Construction detailing: Frank Moore. Completed June 2013.

Equilibrium Pavilion, Tokyo

3 ME model

“Architecture Assistant Professor Erin Moore was one of 8 architects invited to design a mobile pavilion in a two-day design competition at the Kengo Kuma Lab at the University of Tokyo. Moore and her team (students Iosif Dakaronias-Marina from the Architectural Association and Jenny Kan and Shin Yeonsang from the University of Tokyo) were awarded the design prize “Material Equilibrium” for their pavilion that used a spiral of thatch to capture and shed water and carbon for mobile dwellin and long-term material cycling.”

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Borrow Table

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I believe that other material things are just as ephemeral as these cast buttons.  Like buttons and souls, buildings and material objects also only exist for the time between when they are “cast,” taking timber from forests, steel from ore, and gypsum from chalk mountains, and when they are “re-melted,” when wood waste is burned for energy, scrap steel is smelted, and gypsum is returned to the soil. The individuality of material things is ephemeral, existing only between the time of their assembly and the time of their disassembly. In my mind, designing and making are processes of temporarily borrowing materials before they are returned to the metaphorical button maker’s ladel, or to what I see as the ecological “whole.” Design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design

borrow table diagram

Meka, Portola Valley

“Local patron Sonia Dhillon-Marty invites teams made up of Stanford students and professional architects to her property, Champ de Portola, for a two-day design charrette and competition. The winning design will be built on her property by 2014.

This experimental learning project proposed by Dhillon-Marty and the Dhillon Marty Foundation is a collaboration with the Stanford Architectural Design Program and the Stanford Arts Institute. The objective is to arrive at a design, or set of designs, that pushes the ideas of architecture and construction – and ultimately leads to a finished product.

Participating architects from the United States are Kevin Daly of Daly Genik, Erin Moore of the University of Oregon, Larry Booth of Booth Hansen, Antonio Caliz of Valerio Dewalt Train Associates and Charles Debbas of Debbas Architecture. Architects from abroad are Takato Tamagami of Takato Tamagami Architectural Design and Nihon University in Japan; Ko Nakamura of Mosaic Design and Kengo Kuma Lab at Tokyo University in Japan; Yao Chen, a doctoral candidate at the Kengo Kuma Lab from China; and Aris Kafantaris, a graduate student at the Kengo Kuma Lab from Greece.” From press release 10/23/12

Sisters Mobile Artist Studios

With funding from the Roundhouse Foundation, Erin Moore and architecture students from the University of Oregon are collaborating to generate design ideas for a prototype mobile, live/work art studio for Sisters.  The idea is to make creative space available in town on currently under used commercial or  industrial locations as an investment in arts-based economic development. #Sisters Mobile Artist Studios

CEK cabin

A tiny second floor for a tiny tidewater log cabin in Southeast Alaska. It’s not really about being indoors here but if you do want to sit by the window, you will surely see whales. Biggest challenge–planning for cleaning salt and gook from the outside of the upper window. Best quote from owner’s house guest–“this room is like the Discovery Channel!” (referring to those whales and other creatures viewed from upper room).



This project is a small off-grid retreat on a rural site in Bordeaux, France. A steel exoskeleton supports a polycarbonate roof over a 120 sq. ft. wood framed interior box. Window locations are located to emphasize foreground and background views and the butterfly roof funnels rain water to a cistern that provides habitat for the namesake native tree frog.

What does it mean to account for the entire lifecycle of a building? In my design practice, this means assigning an intentional lifespan to different parts of the building. In a studio I have just designed for a client’s family property in Bordeaux, France, the foundation of the building will be there longer than the nearby Roman road markers. Rendered as topography, the foundation is designed to be beautiful and useful regardless of whether the rest of the building still stands. A steel frame that is bolted together on site will support the enclosure and the studio will be enclosed with cedar slat panels that fit into the frame with nearly no fasteners. In time, these more ephemeral parts of the building will come apart into neat piles of cedar and steel, ready for their next lives.

In the meantime, I intend for the lightweight structure to appear to shift a bit on its moorings in response to time and the elements. In the way that it shapes the relationship between the owner and his country property, I am intend for the studio to draw attention to the short term of his stewardship and to the long term of the place. The way that I think about my design practice—FLOAT architectural research and design—is also meant to reflect this astatic permanence as in the way that a well-moored boat swings wide on its anchor line. Design: Erin Moore/FLOAT architectural research and design.