Monocoque Cabin

Monocoque Cabin was born of the question, ‘how can a modern cabin be sustainably prefabricated with a lightweight frame?’ Architect Peter Markos was inspired by the traditional timber monocoque construction of the de Havilland Mosquito aircraft wing, and traditional boat building techniques. The result is an organic, structurally stiff form that brings with it the warmth and comfort of a striking, exposed timber interior. As structural engineer, Price & Myers has married decades of experience engineering timber systems, with the fabrication expertise of long-time collaborators, BlokBuild.

The main ribs of the monocoque are layered plywood with birch wood exteriors and a spruce core. They are tuned to the structural section sizes required for occupancy and for tolerating wind loads. The ribs are staggered and lapped to form stiff rings, then skinned with thin plywood layers able to handle the external envelope’s undulating curvature. The cabin’s floor is made of torsionally stiff Oriented Strand Board insulated cassettes (OSB). When joined with the plywood sheets and ribs, it forms a non-traditional monocoque structure.

The project was not without its challenges. The cabin includes striking architectural features such as full-length, high-level skylights and an exposed roof canopy that could not be allowed to compromise the global stiffness of the structure. This led to the inclusion of an expressed aluminium member that stitches the monocoque across the aperture of each frame. Likewise, the existing site conditions and the pre-requisite for the cabin to be easy to deploy meant non-intrusive helical screw piles as foundations.

Key to the brief for the project was the need for pre-fabrication and ease of assembly without compromising stiffness. The cabin was manufactured in segments – transported to site and joined together to form the timber tube. It is a lightweight structure, and its design and construction adds to the unique experience of being in such a space.

Read more about Monocoque Cabin on - 


Architects Journal

Project Information


Markos Design Workshop




Completed 2024


Efe Onikinci

Peter Markos