If I Were To Build A Cabin, I’d Copy This One. Seriously.

I’ve blogged about several cabins, from the large and luxurious to the tiny and mobile. But I have never seen one that used the space as wisely and beautifully as this one by the Netherland’s architecture firm Zecc and interior designer Roel van Norel.

Utrecht Cabin by Zecc Architects and Roel van Norel

utrecht cabin by zecc architects

What was once a little old garden house among the flowers and trees in a rural area north of Utrecht, has been given a complete makeover, with the exception of the existing foundation.

utrecht cabin exterior

From the outside it’s a simple design with a small footprint of 430 square feet (40 square meters), but inside the design, details and use of space make it feel like so much more.

floorplan utrecht cabin by zecc architects

From the south west one sees what simply looks like a cedar wood clad cabin with a gabled roof and a chimney.

utrecht cabin south west view IIHIH

Look closer and you’ll see that one facade is covered by a series of beautifully designed, movable vertical wooden window shutters that open to the outdoors.  That way the sunlight and view can be directed.

utrecht cabin shutters closed daylight IIHIH

utrecht cabin shutters open daylight IIHIH

shutters detail utrecht cabin by zecc architects

bedroom from exterior

interior of utrecht cabin by Zecc Architects

The back side, which is completely enclosed, is entirely covered in slate tiles. As is the roof.

slate tile covered back

slate meets wood

The entrance side is transparent, made up entirely of windows with steel framing.

utrecht cabin north east view IIHIH

utrecht cabin ext 4 IIHIH

utrecht cabin by zecc architects

utrecht cabin by zecc architects shutters open evening

The west end of the cabin is punctuated by two windows beautifully designed to let the light permeate through from one end of the cabin to another.

utrecht cabin by zecc architects

Zecc designed the basic concept of the house and then Roel van Norel developed the plan and built the house together with the contractor.

woman at table in kitchen

The cottage blends into the landscape seamlessly by the natural use of the materials. The architectural drafting, interior design and its realization were all done with consideration of one another.

view looking out utrecht cabin by zecc architects

The horizontal slats of the shutters continue into the cladding of the cottage so that when the shutters are closed the house feels very private.

utrecht cabin with shutters closed

The front entrance opens to focus on the surrounding landscape, bringing nature inside.

utrecht cabin south east view IIHIH

Even the chimney is designed to compliment the cabin shutters’ horizontal wood slats.

chimney detail

Inside all the facilities are integrated into an oak wall: the kitchen, a wood stove, a toilet, shower, sink and several cabinets. Even the plinth of the kitchen is designed as a drawer – every square inch of the house is used and thought out.

interior toward front door

The front section is used as a kitchen / living / dining room.

interior kitchen

int kitchen utrecht cabin by zecc architects

int with ladder view from front door

In the rear is the sleeping area with a platform bed. Above the sleeping area there is a small loft that can be accessed by a ladder.

interior wall open

The space can be separated by sliding panels to give the bedroom privacy.

interior wall closed

The commode and sink are behind the seamlessly set into the back wall of the cabin, behind oak doors.


sink and shower detail utrecht cabin by zecc architects

bathroom details

Even such details such as the outlets and light switches were carefully considered.

outlet and switches detail inside

Imagery: Stijnstijl Fotografie & Roel van Norel

Photos courtesy of Zecc Architects, Roel van Norel, and this is paper