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
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.
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.
From the south west one sees what simply looks like a cedar wood clad cabin with a gabled roof and a chimney.
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.
The back side, which is completely enclosed, is entirely covered in slate tiles. As is the roof.
The entrance side is transparent, made up entirely of windows with steel framing.
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.
Zecc designed the basic concept of the house and then Roel van Norel developed the plan and built the house together with the contractor.
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.
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.
The front entrance opens to focus on the surrounding landscape, bringing nature inside.
Even the chimney is designed to compliment the cabin shutters’ horizontal wood slats.
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.
The front section is used as a kitchen / living / dining room.
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.
The space can be separated by sliding panels to give the bedroom privacy.
The commode and sink are behind the seamlessly set into the back wall of the cabin, behind oak doors.
Even such details such as the outlets and light switches were carefully considered.
Imagery: Stijnstijl Fotografie & Roel van Norel