This small stone cottage in the midst of thick and forest of trees from the south of Schuigen is located in Naarden, The Netherlands.

The 2012 project was designed by o2 studio.

The Low Stone House by o2 studio:

“The Low Stone House is located in Schuigen, The Netherlands. Although the site was historically chosen for its park and sauna, the current use of the parcel is for a house, which has been designed to have a minimal impact on the surrounding Dutch scene.

The house is designed to have minimal impact on the surrounding Dutch scene and to be place in a natural clearing in the forest. Because the Dutch nature is so fragile and unprotected, the care to make it look like an oasis is to have the building laid out so that it fits in the surrounding natural landscape. The organic shape of the stone and the vein of the natural granite, allow for a minimizing installation.

Because the building is overbuilt, it creates a sense that the outer limits of the plot is to be overbuilt. This design gives an appearance as if the house is cut into the mountain. The location of the entrance is also from this chevron lot. Because the house is so spaced and is inserted into the natural landscape, the wall is made a little more complex and at the same time provides a sense of protection and safety.

A stone wall wraps up the facade of the house facing the mountain, and the entrance hall is from here. Because the house is so spaced and narrow, a second, more private staircase connects the door to the upper floor. The wall is not in the same way as the outer wall, making the transition between interior and exterior subtle and moderate. In addition, this type of stone wall allows for a glazed exterior space, as well as enhancing the natural sunlight into the interior space through the skylights.

This layout of the house is centered around the dining area, which is extended to the kitchen and to the outdoor area. The house is divided on two levels. The bottom floor is dedicated to guests, the lower level of the parents’ bedroom includes a TV room and the garage. The middle floor is dedicated to the kids and serves as a home office.

The vaulted ceiling in the living room provides natural light from the roof windows. Parallel to the living room is the dining area.

The kitchen is a tall, white and spacious room. With wide windows and a skylight, it is well ventilated. The dining area is in turn facing the living room and the kitchen.

Glazing within the glazed wall frames the view of the garden and the open kitchen.

With a well defined plan, the house is divided on the two main levels. The entrance level is used as a double height gallery where the main entrance is made. In order to make it welcoming and functional, the architects set out the design of a big void, a central hall, and a huge ‘staircase’. This spaces is meant to be private and quiet. On the other hand, the two bedrooms at the bottom are envisioned as guest rooms, working room or children’s room.

The second floor is dedicated to the kids. Two bedrooms are located on this level, as well as the bathroom and the playroom. Like the first floor, the central staircase is leading from the hall to the upper level. The staircase is suspended above the central hall. In the living room, around the fireplace, a bigger open space is planned, with a free standing armature as a room divider, almost blindfolded by movable partition panels.

The bathroom, in the basement, is seen as a small Nest in the big void, where a big outdoor fire is lived. The materials and colors of the interior are warm, emphasizing the swimming pool and the views of the surrounding.