recycled windows, green building, tiny house

Small Architecture: On Glass Houses Built Over Stone


Nick Olson and Lilah Horwitz quit their jobs for a time to build a small architecture mountain hideaway cabin in West Virginia, a tiny summer glass house made with recycled windows. This is the result.

tiny house, small architecture, recycled windows
In passive solar building design, windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. Here a recycled window façade allows ample light and sunshine in the West Virginia mountains.

Big Windows, Tiny House

Nick is a photographer who specializes in tintypes taken with a camera he made himself. He currently works for a landscape company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, designing one-of-a-kind objects and spends his off time traveling the country looking for adventure. Lilah works as a fashion designer. She has made several clothing lines, each one coinciding with the a city/place she inhabits. She sells her work in New York boutiques and also works for a landscaping company in Milwaukee.

STORY: How to Legalize Building and Living in Tiny Houses

tiny houses, West Virginia
A hideaway cabin, a place to re-imagine possibilities, of earth connection, or survival in the forest.

To maximize natural light and watch the sun set over the mountains, the romantic duo came up with the idea of building the whole façade from windows. This summer cabin uses the passive solar to reduce the need for artificial lighting and gain warmth from the sun. To get everything they needed they embarked on a road trip collecting dozens of old windows from garage sales and antique dealers around the area. Building on land Nick’s family owned, they only spent around $500 on construction materials.

Nick Olson & Lilah Horwitz | Makers (Documentary)

Half-Cut Tea on this West Virginia Recycled Glass Hideaway

Just a few weeks after they brought everything they needed to their favorite spot and built their unique woodland home. The rest of the house was made from recycled wood, the furniture is vintage and they even got an old stove for burning wood during old months.

recycled windows, green building, tiny house
Recycled windows might begin to cloud and leak, but in a summer house out in the wilds, they provide atmosphere and are inexpensive and environmentally friendly. Photo featured in “This is Colossal.”

Filmmakers Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long of Half Cut Tea caught up with Horwitz and Olson to learn more about the construction of the building and their unusually strong commitment to following through with their artistic visions.


This is Colossal

Couple Leave Their Jobs to Build a Recycled Windows Love Nest | Inhabitat

Updated 23 February 2021

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  1. This home is beautiful. Having the entire frot of your home built with windows is very unique. The glass is simply amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Pingback: Earth Sheltered Homes: Energy-Efficient, Living With the Land

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