architect joris verhoeven has realized a compact prefabricated wooden cabin situated within the drijflanen nature reserve in tilburg, the netherlands. the dwelling is designed to merge harmoniously into the environment, with its rough black facades, hardly standing out next to the surrounding tree trunks. settling amid an ever-changing scenery, the building features strategically placed windows, to offer striking painting-like views all year long.

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all images courtesy of joris verhoeven



the cottage structure by joris verhoeven is prefabricated, constructed sustainably, out of wooden cassettes filled with flax insulation. the interior side of the cassettes is made of decorating birch plywood. this pure way of building, where the structural work is also the finishing, comes with great benefits when it comes to construction duration and cost. after pouring the foundation floor, the house was erected in just 3 days.

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the overall interior is completed with wood, to enrich the rural aesthetic of the project. the open staircase is also made of birch wood, matching the structure. other parts of the interior, such as the interior door, kitchen, and stair railing, are finished in matte black, just like the exterior window frames. in this way, the inside and outside of the house are deeply related to one another.

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the wooden facade has been treated with a fungus that has been specially cultivated in this color to protect the sidings in a natural way. in case of damage to the coating, the growing fungal layer will self-repair. when the fungus is fading it means it’s hungry – then you’ll have to feed it with linseed oil for new wood protection and to become matte black again.

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the natural appearance of the weathering wood sidings is magnified by their different sizes. this design detail is what gives the facade depth, which is further emphasized at times during the day by the grazing sunrays. overall,  using fewer building materials, less transport and no use of water has led to a natural construction method with a negative carbon footprint. this cabin is a sustainable power plant, with the solar and thermal panels on the roof making it totally self-sufficient.

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fungi force

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room with a view

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room with a view

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kitchen with a view



project info:


name: quattro stagione
architect: joris verhoeven
location: drijflanen nature reserve, tilburg, the netherlands



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom