At first sight, the Garden House looks like a charming wooden structure built on the edge of a pond, its wooden walls and metal roof reflecting on the mirror-like surface of the water, alongside the tall trees with lush crowns. On a closer look, however, it becomes clear that what could have been mistaken at a glance for a garden shed is actually an innovative structure that combines a clever and simple system of sliding walls and glass shells to provide four kinds of living spaces in one. Surprisingly, the whole project was designed and built by someone without formal architectural training.

It all began with a request from a mother to son. Caspar Schols offered to built the house after his mother expressed a desire to have a special space in her garden, a structure that could be used for completely different activities at any time, including quiet meditation, nature contemplation, extra guest room, play area for children, and party and dining room area for up to 30 people. All on a tight budget and within the building limitations set by local law. Built on his parents’ property in Eindhoven, the Garden House adjusts to different types of weather and needs through an ingenious system of sliding panels. The building is made of Douglas wood, has a steel roof and contains a double glass shell which can be moved separately from the mobile wooden walls. The entire house has four layouts, all offering the ideal space for different requirements. It took Schols six and a half months to build the house, from the first parts made in his mother’s garage to the last finishing touches. From quiet work area to bedroom with a glass ceiling or generously sized outdoor party space, the Garden House succeeds in being everything laid out in the original brief, and much, much more. Photography by Jorrit ‘t Hoen.

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