Natural Materials (307)

Surfers Hotel in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Shelter Publications had a visit from Steve Pezman, the co-creator and recently-retired editor of Surfer’s Journal, and his long-time surfing buddy, photographer Leo Hetzel. Steve interviewed @lloyd.kahn and Leo shot photos for an article in the magazine. This was the cover of a scrapbook Lloyd made of a surfing trip to Costa Rica in 1990. It shows Kurt Van Dyke on the balcony of his hotel for surfers in Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean coast southeast of Puerto Limón. When he saw Lloyd about to take a picture, Kurt said, “Classic, eh?”

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Houseboat Island Living



Mark has lived a very unique life, sailing and traveling around the world working as a professional mime and clown. Now, in his retirement he is living the island lifestyle on an incredible off-the-grid houseboat where he is able to enjoy life and spend his days looking out over the ocean.

Mark’s houseboat is a member of a houseboat community which is made up of 8 floating homes which are situated on an island off the coast of New Zealand. This community is made up of a variety of beautiful, small, off-grid, tiny houseboats, all with their unique and individual charms. The community has existed in this area since the 70’s.

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Margaret's Cabin Built by Jan Janzen

This little cabin was built almost entirely from a cedar tree that had been lying nearby. Framing, flooring, shakes. Maybe that’s what makes the building so harmonious. Jan had told me this and, as I was climbing around inside and out shooting photos, I had a vision of a tree, a solid chunk of wood, cut up rearranged, and expanded to make this cozy place…

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Off-Grid Cabin in Paradise



Hidden away deep in the Baton Valley, nestled amongst the imposing mountain ranges of the Kahurangi National Park is a tiny, off-the-grid cabin which looks as though it could have sat there for hundreds of years.

Named the Honeywell hut, a tribute to its builder Jack Honeywell, this historic-looking cabin is the pride and joy of its owners Richard and Fiona, who constructed this unique getaway as an escape for themselves, as well as to help provide additional accomodation for their horse trekking business…

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The Sugar Shack by Bill Castle

The entire structure is built with salvaged material.

…The theme of our eco-resort has always been Adirondack Style, which translates to “built with time and no money.” Our resort is surrounded 56,000 acres of New York State Forest lands and each year we renew our contract with the state to harvest “dead and down trees.” It’s like building structures in the middle of Mother Nature’s lumberyard.

The newest edition is The Sugar Shack, nestled in the wilderness, but with homey conveniences. The floor plan is 12′ × 16′, and includes a bedroom/living room, kitchenette, gravity-fed spring shower, composting toilet, and a cozy fireplace…

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The Thomas J. Nugget Westfalia

The VW Westfalia is an iconic vehicle, and to me, Thomas J. Nugget, or Nuggs for short, is my symbol of freedom. Nuggs is a 1989 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van.

He is in incredible condition and is equipped with a 2,200 cc, 2.2L Subaru engine, built-in propane tank, two-burner stove top, thermostat-controlled furnace, a 12-gallon water tank, sink, roof-mounted solar panel, a refrigerator/freezer, two full-size beds, a swing-out table, and lots of storage…

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