Thursday, 30 July 2015

Hermits Arrive

So I'm doodling around on the Enlightenment Superpath, and I surf into Arvesund, a Swedish company that makes prefab outbuildings. I browse through attractive garden sheds, summer cabins, sauna houses, and the odd lusthus, when suddenly I discover their Eremitens koja: a purpose-designed, so-designated hermit hut, from the drawing table of architect Mats Theselius!

My price inquiry to the company has gone unanswered, but another firm sells a kit to these lines, made entirely of recycled wood, for 96 500 Swedish kronor (about $11,300 Yank, at current rates). Models with new-wood exteriors sell for 79 500 SEK ($9,300 US); new wood overall for 67 500 SEK ($7,900US).

This is not the kind of money a hermit carries around; I could build at least eight such cabins for the cost of that lowest-price model. (Four, with woodstoves.) But I gotta hand it to the designer: he gets it. If it's true that some of the serving suggestions in Arvesund's literature are a bit, shall we say, spiritually encumbered, the dimensions and basic accommodations are entirely on-spec. This is indeed "just enough". Good on ya, Mats!

But the mere existence of this product raises a burning question: are we hermits becoming that thing that all populations must be to have legitimacy in the Red Dust World: a market? Will those glossy up-market magazines that pass for the Buddhist press soon be carrying adverts for elegant artisanal Japanese rice kettles and fair-trade rushlights made by Indonesian villagers?

Estimated Category of Risk: NBL.

(Photographs courtesy of Arvesund; front view located on; interior and side view courtesy of; specs courtesy of SW Byggritningar AB.)
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