Canadian River Cabin

Coasting out from Oklahoma City, urban backdrop dissipates into country, light pollution fades. Signs of civilization thin and gradually drop out, but one cabin sits perched on the high point of an eighty-acre plot, half a mile from the Canadian River’s red-stained waters. As a child, the owner listened to his parents speculate on what an ideal spot for a home the site would make–and now that’s what it’s become. On waves of Bluestem Prairie, at the point where nature reclaims dominion, Canadian River Cabin is the end of the road.


El Reno, Oklahoma







September 2022

Canadian River Cabin

As the massive turbines behind the cabin attest, the Oklahoman prairie sees its share of tailwinds. But the structure’s low profile, with its gently sloping, heavily insulated roof, ensures Canadian River Cabin can navigate them.

The south and west walls are replete with window space, gazing on the river valley’s feathered orange sunsets. Above, the roof’s generous overhang provides ample shading, and custom bent flashing over each window adds eight inches of weather protection.

Materially, Canadian River Cabin conforms to the elements. The rust red palette of its facade–from the bricks that clad its exterior to the mortar that binds them together–affirm the cabin’s relationship with the surrounding red dirt country. Additional red metal cladding contributes depth and texture while shading the structure’s windows.

At just under 2,000 square feet, Canadian River Cabin’s footprint is efficient, but with space enough for six beds and more for overflow, it’s also ideal for family gatherings. Alaskan white cedar, a woodburning stove, and brass accents on the cabinet pulls, light fixtures, and appliances all contribute warmth and texture to the interior.

Still, this is tornado alley. That’s why eight inches of reinforced concrete in the closet walls let visitors know, no matter what’s happening on the prairie, that they’re in a place of refuge.


Contractor: RJ Designs
Structural: Obelisk Engineering

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