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November 2, 2014
Glass walls and a slide-away wall connect this rural escape with the outdoors.
The Island House Prefab Cabin exterior by 2by4 Architects

The Island House sits on a petite man-made island in 'Loosdrechtse Plas,’ a lake area near Amsterdam and Breukelen (from which the New York borough gots its name). The thin strip of land, a result of peat farming centuries ago, inspired the design of the cabin.

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2by4-Architects
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Prefab cabin with glass walls and folding wood door

Utilized year-round, the 225-square-foot cabin opens up to the surrounding countryside via parallel glass walls on either end and a folding wood door that leads to the terrace. Co-designer Remko Remijnse of 2by4 Architects says the concept was to make the “natural surroundings become part of the living room [so] you have endless living space.” 

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2by4-Architects
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Prefab cabin with fold out wall that opens onto lake

The fold-out wall allows lake access from the living room. The indoor fireplace can be rotated to warm up the terrace during chilly evenings outdoors.

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2by4-Architects
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Island prefab cabin on a lake

The home’s east-west orientation picks up sunlight twice a day and makes the house blend seamlessly into the wooded background.

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2by4-Architects
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The Island House Prefab Cabin with gabled roof

According to Remijnse, since the only direction they could build on the small site was up, they decided to add height with a gabled roof.

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2by4-Architects
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The Island House Prefab Cabin minimal interior

The architects learned how to deal with the complex site while solving the challenge of incorporating everything a person needs for living within a 225-square-foot home. Fold-away storage units and a minimal interior helped maximize the square footage.

 

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2by4-Architects
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The Island House Prefab Cabin glass gabled exterior

Constructed with prefabricated wood panels placed onto a steel frame, the Island House inspired the architects to create a series of modular prefabs based on the design, including a do-it-yourself kit. 

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2by4-Architects
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The Island House Prefab Cabin on the lake

Subtle features incorporated into the design, including an elevated terrace and jetty, help the home float above the island.

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2by4-Architects
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The Island House Prefab Cabin exterior by 2by4 Architects

The Island House sits on a petite man-made island in 'Loosdrechtse Plas,’ a lake area near Amsterdam and Breukelen (from which the New York borough gots its name). The thin strip of land, a result of peat farming centuries ago, inspired the design of the cabin.

A compact recreational home on a sliver of an island in the Dutch countryside, the one-room Island House leaves a small footprint at only 225 square feet. A slide-out side wall and parallel glass walls, which support a gabled roof and provide a lengthwise view of the island, open up the home to the countryside, while the clever interior arrangement makes sure nothing gets in the way of the view. Co-designer Remko Remijnse of 2by4 Architects said the demands of the cramped site—the prefabricated wall panels were brought in by boat—inspired him to look for efficient solutions. The resulting cabin inspired a series of modular prototypes that prospective clients can customize to create their own escape, no island necessary. 

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