Dutch studio Zecc Architecten has teamed up with interior designer Roel van Norel to create a recreation house in the rural area north of Utrecht, Netherlands. The house made of wood opens its façade with window shutters towards the green garden.

The house has replaced an existing garden house, which foundation is reused and its existing contours were the starting point of the new house. The archetypal cottage is simple: a gable roof of stone slate, a chimney and a wood cladding of Western Red Cedar. The cottage blends into the landscape seamlessly by the natural use of the materials. The architectural drafting, interior design and its realization were in one hand. This has resulted in an unprecedented high level of craftsmanship.


The refinement of this cottage is in the asymmetrical head design, detailing and interior. The house is completely closed on one side by putting the slates vertical on the façade. The other side opens up to the green and is equipped with movable window shutters. That way the sunlight and view can be directed.

The horizontal slats of the shutters continue into the cladding of the cottage so that when the shutters are closed the house gets a closed character. The front is completely transparent and has a sturdy/rough steel facade. This part focuses on the open part of the landscape.


The front section is used as a kitchen / living / dining room and in the rear area the sleeping room is placed. The space can be separated by sliding panels.

On the long side of the closed façade all facilities are integrated into a wall of oak: the kitchen, wood stove, a toilet, shower, sink and several cabinets. Even the plinth of the kitchen is designed as a drawer, every square inch of the house is used and thought out.

 5-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 6-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 7-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 3-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 8-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 9-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 10-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 11-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands 12-recreation-house-near-utrecht-by-zecc-architecten-roel-van-norel-netherlands

images © Stijn – courtesy of ROEL VAN NOREL