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Mechanical light cottage morphs sliding skin with use/seasons

When his mother began talking about putting a prefab in her backyard, Caspar Schols– a physicist by training- was working at a tech firm, but had always loved architecture and asked if he could design her something special.

Wanting to create a home that you could change as easily as you change your clothes, Schols built the home in a series of shells on a wooden platform. The outer layer is insulated wood panels that slide open to reveal a glass greenhouse pavilion for hanging out or entertaining on colder days.

The glass shell can also be rolled back to create an open-air dining, lounging or performance space. With more rolling, one can create other configurations, like the dinner party mode (wood in the middle, glass on the outside to create a covered space to fit a long table and 30 guests).

With no architecture training (at the time), Schols spent 8 months building the structure himself (with occasional help from family and friends). He set each shell on 8 small wheels which fit into tracks in a wooden platform. Into the floor he built-in pop-up beds and cabinets to hide outlets and he even had plans for a pop-out bathtub.

Though after his mother and guests slept on the pop-up beds a few times they deemed them uncomfortable and he replaced them with furniture from the neighbor (who just happens to be designer Piet Hein Eek).

  • Valerie Love

    I have family in Holland still. Amazing build. Love it. ❤ could you live there all year long? But I was wondering where the bathroom is ? Or is it not finished yet? I love how Holland is more advanced than Canada. Love the video. Amazing job.☺

    • Arlene van Vegchel

      Hi Valerie. I believe it’s a garden shed that his mother uses for dinner parties, painting, meditating, etc. It’s built in his mother’s backyard garden.

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