The adage “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” aptly represents the Hemmelig Room by US-based architecture firm Studio Padron. This tiny cabin repurposes felled trees collected from the construction of new homes and turned into an oasis for bibliophiles. 

The owner of the cabin (of Norwegian heritage) had a vacation home constructed in Upstate New York and wanted a separate single-room library on the property. Thus the birth of the Hemmelig Room, which in Norwegian translates to “secret room.” From the outside, it looks nothing more than a single volume of blackened timber carved with a single long window and door. By the doorway is a wall light that illuminates the entrance.

But inside is where the wonder and the journey into one’s imagination happens. Located in Ellenville, United States, the Hemmelig Room is basically a standalone library. It utilizes portions of the walls to form into bookshelves from top to bottom. The interior used felled oak trees cut into 8×8 square log sections which are airdried for several seasons.

The oak tree’s raw, polished form encompasses the interior in nonuniform timber panels then merged to create the crevices to hold the books. To complete the relaxing ambiance, there is a wood-burning stove to keep the place warm and a sitting area where readers can comfortably lounge with a book.

Meanwhile, a floor-to-ceiling window opens the place to the surrounding natural scenery outside. It also provides natural lighting by day. The Hemmelig Room is a striking presence against its landscape with its black monolithic exterior. 

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Images courtesy of Studio Padron