Chatou by h2o Architectes



Chatou by Paris-based h2o Architectes is a garden pavilion where the furniture forms the entire interior.


Arranged on four split levels, the 12m² building is intended for a teenager to live within the garden of the family home.


Made from silver birch plywood, the furniture allows for sleeping, living, studying and washing.


Photographs by Stéphane Chalmeau.


Here's some information from the architects:



This little building, located in the owner’s backyard, was neglected for years. The aim of the project was to provide a private space for a teenager looking for his independence. Therefore, the program includes elements necessary for an autonomous life including sleeping, living, studying and washing. It had been decided between the parents and teenager that meals would still be a shared time in the family home.


Due to the very limited floor space (12m²) we tested different options assembling the programs into a kind of “inhabitable furniture”. Multiple spaces are connected in a unique volume in a series of four split-levels with dedicated areas for each of the programmatic functions.


Silver birch plywood was chosen as the singular material for this living-space-as-furniture, giving a visual coherence and unity to the details and interlocking spaces.












Posted on Saturday July 19th 2008 at 2:26 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Pieter

    First picture: how does that window open?

  • I like the gap between exterior and interior.

  • jed_

    wonderful wonderful wonderful!

    a lucky teenager to live in the amazing project. one of my favourite pieces of design for a long time.

  • edward

    Neat, but all that silver birch plywood does get to be overmuch. Some variety would have been nice. Love the though documentation.

  • Tyler

    claustrophobic bunker, cool enough :)

  • Bob


  • Hans Haneke

    Amazing !! and very tricky
    I really like the way all parts connect together.
    Many spaces forming one single element in a very nice composition of shapes and volumes.
    Great Job !!
    We want some more

  • Hal’s Pal

    I love the mono-material super modern interior. Intricate set of spaces. The lightness of the the material makes this tight space feel more open. Tons of discreet storage… nice!

  • archenx

    what is the last picture (the green one) mean? Is that the exterior appearance of the building?

  • esraa salah

    it is very very nice

  • gaque

    this is fantastic!

  • Azeem

    Functional to its core ,quite monotonus though!

  • leon


    Excactly my first thought!!
    How is that 2nd window wing supposed to be opened?

  • cool parents
    didnt mvrdv just do a house for a teenager recently?
    i wish my parents were that hip

  • Boat_design docet!

  • chachi

    that last picture is a welcome surprise. what a pearl inside that oyster shell. i imagine once lived in, the use of one material throughout will be very much softened. great execution of such a unique program.

  • Great design, I wouldn’t mind living in similar housing. I like the 4 level hard wood design the most. There’s so many possible places to have storage, such as the underside of the stairs, even in the floor/walls themselves with pop-out cabinets that could be arranged like tiles.

    I’ll definitely refer to there designs when I build my own house.

  • matilda

    Brillant! nothing more to say about this!!

  • lukas

    amaizing how it looks outside.

  • YES! nice puzzling design! Nice clash inside-outside…
    and thank you Rose for the PLANS!

  • Joe

    think its a brilliant design….. the detailing superb…..functionality good….but looks like the single wood color can be monotonous…
    all in all i think its well thought out…..

  • changable design It is great idea

  • Rossi

    @leon & pieter:
    Half of it opens, obviously. Nothing extraordinary, there’s a slightly awkward edge but hey :) Good work.

  • mojahjah

    @leon & pieter:
    section BB

  • Sianide Nick

    Although turning floors into furniture is an attractive concept and this instance is quite intriguing,

    this monolith may squeak and creak after a teen boy spends a couple of years running up and down those stairs and doing what teenagers do.

    But I like the idea.

  • i kinda like the whole thing…it's just so magical for me..nice contrast…i may build one of these things in the future…