Recreation House Region Utrecht by Roel van Norel + Zecc Architecten

Location : Utrecht, The Netherlands

Area : 40 M2
Year : 2014

 Architects : Zecc Architecten

Interior Designers : Roel van Norel

In the rural area north of Utrecht a compact recreation house has been realized. The house is constructed in wood and opens its façade with window shutters towards the green garden. The design has been realized by a special collaboration between Zecc and interior designer Roel van Norel. Zecc designed the basic concept of the house and then Roel van Norel has developed the plan all the way into the smallest detail and has built the house together with the contractor.

The house has replaced an existing garden house, of whicht the foundation was reused and its contours became the starting point of the design. 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. Above the sleeping area there is a small entresol. 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.

Images: Stijnstijl Fotografie & Roel van Norel


Partners Zecc

                          Marnix vd Meer              Bart Kellerhuis               Steven Nobel                             


The strength of a tree equals the depth of its roots. Our architecture is the same. Zecc works from three ground principles: what we build is functional, sustainable and engages all senses at the same time. Uniting these three principles often seems an impossible assignment. However, this is the core of Zecc’s strength. We call it Grounded Architecture. Architecture with a strong foundation. With deep roots. Since these bring forth the most wonderful ideas.

‘The deeper the roots, the higher the vision.’


T +31(0)30 273 1289



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