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Brothers build boreal utopia of open-roof cube cabins in nature

On a piece of land purchased by their grandfather in Charlevoix, Quebec, Jonathan and Simon Galarneau have built a dozen small homes with big views of the Boreal forest. Some are converted shipping containers, others are tiny cubes, but they all have large windows cut into one side so despite the long, freezing winters, one can experience the outdoors from inside a cabin.

The brothers designed and built the structures, with no design degree, but inspired by a father who always built things and who’d dreamt of opening a campground on retirement. After his early death from cancer, Jonathan and Simon began to build their version of a campground. Starting with a bank loan for a “private home”, the first structure was a two story loft with a full wall of window creating passive heat all winter.

Today, the brothers have built over a dozen structures for their Repère Boréal resort and expect to have about 20 shelters by year’s end.