London-based architecture practice De Rosee Sa replaced an old dilapidated structure with a “magical” 35-square-meter black cabin that takes inspiration from fairytales. Located by a lakeside in Nouvelles, Belgium, the tiny Woodland Cabin is a self-build project commissioned by architect Max de Rosee’s father who wanted a simple and economical getaway built within a £25,000 budget. Elegant yet affordable, this charming black hut minimized costs with the use of recycled materials as well as locally felled and milled timber.
Topped with a steeply pitched roof, the Woodland Cabin was built with the local rural vernacular in mind. The timber-framed structure sits on concrete strip foundations with brick dwarf walls that support a suspended timber floor. The external wood cladding is stained black with a mixture of wood stain and recycled tractor engine oil given to the architects for free by local farmers. All of the timber beams and cladding were felled and milled from trees in the surrounding woods by De Rosee’s father.
The simple interior features a large central open space with a wood-burning stove, as well as a small bathroom. “To capture the surrounding natural beauty, its openings respond to the outside views and approaches to the cabin,” write the architects. “The internal space has been designed for various uses including working, sleeping and socialising, and is heated by a wood burning stove.” The walls and floors are built from oriented strand board, and the timber roof beams are exposed for sculptural effect. Large doors open the room up to a wraparound timber deck.