Magical Woodland Cabin by De Rosee Sa Architects
London-based studio De Rosee Sa Architects conducted a very special project in the woods nearby the village of Nouvelles, Belgium. The architect’s father commissioned a new woodland cabin in place of the old, dilapidated escape, that would be built from wood sourced and milled locally, with his all-inclusive help and involvement. The architectural team was responsible for every step of the project from designing to construction, which meant several field-trips from the UK to the Belgian countryside.
The shape of the new little cabin was drawn with a wide range of future uses in mind as a picnic and barbeque venue, a guesthouse, and a studio. Besides the assigned timber-material, another requirement was that the new structure should be as simple and economical as possible. The De Rosee Sa team ended up with a traditional gabled form that takes inspiration from local agricultural architecture, reconnecting to vernacular heritage besides the use of timber.
The wooden cladding reappears for the interior as well, but here the main cladding material is OSB, which is rarely used in domestic spaces, therefore adds a touch of freshness to the otherwise ancient-looking structure. Because of the various functions the cabin has to accommodate, apart from a wood burning stove no furniture is fixed, making the space flexible between sleeping, socialising, and working hours.
While the little house is the most traditional-looking structure, it has a strange, uncanny air, that is mainly due to the magical surrounds and the black paint of the exterior. Which, in fact, was achieved by applying used gas oil given by local tractor-drivers for free. The trick makes the cabin indeed look like a witch’s hut, adding a basic structure and otherworldly twist.
Photos: Will Scott
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