In the Dutch countryside north of Utrecht, Zecc Architecture and interior designer Roel van Norel converted a tiny garden house into a refined rural retreat. The summer house was built onto the footprint of the existing structure using western red cedar, oak, and slate stone to create a cozy, shutter-clad getaway.
Two glass walls, one hidden beneath retractable shutters, look out over the greens and golds of the surrounding landscape. On one side, the asymmetrical cottage is clad in vertical wood panels covered by slate shingles. The opposite wall is equipped with movable window shutters that open up to invite the sunlight and outdoor environment in. The transparent front side, supported by steel beams, has head-on views of endless green fields.
The front section of the cottage is used as a studio-style kitchen, living, and dining area. In the rear, a sleeping nook is tucked beneath a modest loft, accessed by a wooden ladder. The spaces can be separated by sliding panels, or extended into one fluid environment.
Along the closed façade of the cottage, an oak wall contains all the built-ins a resident would need: a wood stove, a toilet, shower, sink, and cabinets. Even the support plinth of the kitchen is disguised as a drawer. That’s minimalism to the max.
Photos courtesy of Zecc Architecten Utrecht