Uncovered Cabin by Crafted Works Architects


Crafted Works Architects

Maarten Willemstein




Drenthe, Netherlands

Amsterdam based Crafted Works Architects and their sister contracting company, Crafted Space have completed a timber cabin in the eastern Dutch province of Drenthe.
The cabin is located on a holiday park near to the Dutch / German border and was designed for a client and their family of five who have friends and extended family in the area. The single story cabin is designed to be a social and welcoming venue for the owners to informally host friends and family staying in other accommodations on the park whilst also providing a comfortable and intimate dwelling for them to visit during the quieter periods of the year.
Structural and material expression was the main driver for the design. The various building elements were considered in terms of how their structure could be exposed, rather than being concealed behind linings and claddings, helping to generate a distinct and unique character to the cabin whilst also exhibiting the work and craftsmanship involved in its construction.
Durable, affordable and locally available, douglas fir was selected as the leading material and is used for the primary frame, external wall studs and roof rafters. The colour and hue of the wood will soften over time with
the orange tones slowly being replaced with a silvery-grey patina. The external walls are protected by an oversailing corrugated steel roof which adds a rustic and somewhat agricultural aesthetic in this rural location.
Internally, the softwood sheathing boards are left exposed to become the final finished surface and also line the integrated furniture and joinery items  – providing a textured yet monotonous backdrop for the client’s furniture and possessions.
The cranked plan helps give the cabin orientation and establishes an informal outside space to the front which is further reinforced by two cantilevered terraces that also act as intermediate entrance thresholds and raised sunbathing decks. The internal layout distinctly separates the sleeping accommodation of the children and adults, locating them at opposite ends of the cabin. The children’s beds are stacked on three different levels and provide efficient, fun and private sleeping arrangements to suit all ages. The main bedroom is more spacious and has a raised bed that sits over an external store that is accessed from the rear.
The main living space is centrally located and benefits from the tapered roof and angled plan geometry to create a dynamic and spacious environment. It is lined with a large number of opening doors and high level windows that allow the space to be flooded with natural light. The position and open layout of the handmade kitchen allows for the relaxed hosting of guests and the efficient wood-burning stove helps define the adjacent seating / living area and provides a warm focal point during the winter months.
The cabin has a floor area of 70 square metres, reaches a maximum height of just under five metres and sits on galvanised steel screw pile foundations.
The entire cabin was built by a team of two – the various structural components and assembly methods were carefully considered during the design stages to enable a logical, efficient and straightforward construction
process. Due to the continuation of the design team moving into the delivery of the project, an iterative design process was possible where construction decisions could be made early on and subsequently informed and optimised other aspects of the project such as budget and programme. This team structure also enabled the original design intent to rigorously flourish into the delivered product.

Text provided by the architect

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