Cabin fever

This wooden cabin can be opened up to let in nature.

Dutch designer Caspar Schols’s first design in the ANNA cabin collection was a wooden dwelling with a sliding double shell that could open up to become part of its surroundings. Now, the design is available as a flatpack structure that can be used anywhere.

Schols's mother, Anna, first asked him to build her a garden cabin in 2016. Despite lacking any formal architectural training – he had obtained a BSc and an MSc in Physics from the University of Amsterdam in 2015 – he had a strong fascination for architecture and design, and wanted to create a cabin that would foster a dynamic connection between humans, nature and the idea of home. The envisioned space was meant to be flexible, serving as a venue for his mother to read, paint and organise family dinners, while also allowing her grandchildren to put on theatre shows. Above all, the cabin had to provide a means for his mother to immerse herself in nature - and the ANNA cabin’s unique sliding double shell can open up to invite the natural surroundings inside.

Thanks to a set of two protective sliding skins, the cabin can be adapted to the desire of the dweller, merging with the environment when split apart or enclosing the inside when slid back together. The interior enclosure consists of dual-paned glass that is suited for spring or autumn weather, providing protection from rainfall while permitting ample sunlight to flood the area, while the exterior comprises an insulated wooden outer shell.

Over and above being adaptable to users’ desires, the ANNA cabin also features an adjustable modular framework that allows for it to be constructed on-site, with a short installation period and minimal ecological disruption. To ensure a low carbon footprint, 80% of the cabin’s parts can be produced locally using a digital file.

Recently Schols built an ANNA cabin in the De Biesbosch National Park in the Netherlands. This one was configured for use as a small home, with ground-floor and mezzanine sleeping areas, a bathroom with an in-floor tub, an outdoor shower and a kitchen.


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Photographs: Caspar Schols.