Koto prefabricated cabins

Koto's flexible prefab cabins are designed for a Nordic lifestyle

Prefabricated housing startup Koto has launched a series of modular one- to four-bedroom cabins that can be customised with add-ons such as saunas and outdoor showers.

The Scandinavian-style cabins, Koto said, are designed to last a lifetime and can be reconfigured to meet the needs of each individual client and the constraints of any site.

Koto prefabricated cabins

Koto, meaning cosy at home in Finnish, was founded in January 2018 by husband and wife duo Johnathon Little and Zoe Little.

The Devon-based duo, who have spent the past decade in Oslo where Johnathon previously worked for Snøhetta, created Koto as a range of off-the-shelf housing.

Koto prefabricated cabins

Each cabin comes as a pod with a tall diagonal ridge roof that creates an open interior space. The modular pods can be set up in numerous configurations to create different sized footprints to cater for homes, offices, hotel rooms and pool houses.

"Our initial range of modules – Pari, Muutama and Ystava – are all represented with the Koto wedge shape roof," Johnathan Little told Dezeen. "This shape allows for an interesting form and experience both internally and externally, a modern twist on the traditional vernacular."

Koto prefabricated cabins

Koto said that the cabins' minimalist Scandinavian-influenced design enable the occupants to live a "Nordic lifestyle", which revolves around creating a healthy work-life balance, with spaces for sleeping, relaxing and disconnecting.

The flexible cabins come as one, two, three and four-bedroom units that can be added to with other off-the-shelf components such as outdoor showers and saunas.

Koto prefabricated cabins

"Thinking about each living space as a separate design exercise has allowed us to create unique experiences in each space," they explained.

The cabins are manufactured by ​Kudos​, a Northern Irish company that specilaises in the development of low energy, timber frame buildings.

Koto prefabricated cabins

Inside, expansive concealed storage walls maximise floor space and help achieve a clean Scandinavian aesthetic.

The rooms are flooded by natural light from a generous glazed facade and a series of smaller windows that can be found on each pod component. Bespoke window seats connect the inhabitants to the outside world while making use of every last inch of space.

Koto prefabricated cabins

Other space-saving features include concealed storage walls and fold down beds.

Koto said they designed each bedroom to feel like a private retreat within the landscape. Furniture for the bedrooms was sourced from Danish brand ​Hay ​and arranged to create a calm, minimal environment.

Each cabin is equipped with a ​Morsoe​ wood burning stove and living spaces with neutral decor. In contrast the ensuite bathrooms are finished in dark colours with copper ​Lusso fixtures.

For example the Koto Muutama cabin, pictured, is Koto's medium-sized cabin. It contains a bathroom, bespoke fold down king size bed, hidden wall storage, window bench, wood stove and the option for a kitchenette.

Koto prefabricated cabins

According to Koto, additional components such as the black outdoor shower and a sauna cabin can be added to create a "spa-like experience".

"We are now developing a spa elements range which will include a sauna, steam room and pool house all united with the same koto brand visual aesthetic," Koto explained.

Koto prefabricated cabins

The Koto cabins can be relocated to a different site, even years after being installed, and are designed to address society's changing mindset towards house buying.

"We are creating beautiful small buildings that allow people to connect with nature and embrace outdoor living," said the husband and wife duo.

Koto prefabricated cabins

"Our ambition has been to create a lifestyle brand that is centred around the Nordic concept Friluftsliv [pronounced free-loofts-liv], an expression that translates to open-air living," they continued.

"Norwegian poet Ibsen described the term as ​the value of spending time in the remote outdoors for spiritual and mental wellbeing."

Koto prefabricated cabins

"They are a sculptural interpretation of the small buildings that you see across Europe, from Bothys to Alpine huts and Norwegian Hytte," they said.

"These small pitched roof buildings are an integral part of the landscape and provide warmth, shelter and an opportunity to fully immerse in nature. That is the heart of the ethos at ​Koto​."

Koto is not the first company to create a prefab cabin. Earlier this year, Uruguay and Brazil-based architects MAPA unveiled a series of prefab guest suites in Maldonado, Uruguay, with facades made up of mirrored glass and sliced logs. In 2017, Danish retailer Vipp debuted a factory-made, 55-square-metre metal-and-glass micro dwelling that comes filled with the company's line of homeware products.

Photography is by Joe Laverty