Recreational Island House
by 2by4-architects


Slideshow: Rotterdam studio 2by4-architects designed this gabled summer house so the walls of one corner fold open.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

Blackened timber lines the walls and roof of the building, while the ends are glazed to create framed views out across the water and surrounding Dutch lake district.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

An angled wall inside the building conceals a shower, toilet, kitchen and storage on one side.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

A fireplace suspended from the ceiling can be rotated to face out towards the decked jetty beyond, to keep residents warm when they’re sat outdoors.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

We've also featured a waterside summerhouse in Norway - take a look here.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

The text below is from 2by4-architects:

On an island of 5 by 100 meters in the Dutch lake area 'Loosdrechtse Plas' 2by4-architects designed a unique recreational house. The house is a subtle frame that captures the view from the inside out and outside in. Completely anticipating on the client's needs 2by4 has designed the house in such a way that it can customize the interaction with the surrounding nature. One of the glass facades can be completely opened so that the wooden outdoor terrace becomes part of the interior. To even more lift the inside-outside barrier the dark wooden facade can be folded open, creating a panoramic view to nature. The folded facade becomes an abstract perpendicular element that floats above the water. By opening this part of the facade the wooden floor of the living area is now directly connected to the water enabling the inhabitants to access the lake from the living room.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

Although the size of the house is limited it still contains all the functions that are needed for comfort. Shower, toilet, kitchen, closets, storage and other functions are all integrated into a double wall. According to the need of a specific function the wall can be modified so that the spatial configuration changes, resulting into different atmospheres. The fire place, that hangs from the ceiling, also contributes to the changing of atmospheres because it can be rotated towards the outdoor terrace for those cozy summer evenings.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

The orientation of the house is based on sunrise and sunset. In the morning cold light shines on the east facade, illuminating the white interior. In the evening the warm light flows into the west facade, announcing the end of the day.

Recreational Island House by 2by4-architects

Visitors that arrive at the house enter it in a series of sequences. Seen from the main land the house floats above the island. Arriving on the island itself the visitors are guided towards an elevated jetty that brings them to the terrace on the other side. The terrace continues towards the inside of the house where it stops halfway. Here the floor changes material and becomes a raised platform from where the visitors can look back at the nature they just came from.

  • Unbelievably inspiring design which in addition to being beautiful, is simplistic, completely functional, Eco-friendly and blends seamlessly with the natural environment.

  • pwr

    unbelievably engaged

  • Greg

    A smart and pure concept. I like it a lot.

  • mcmlxix

    Home sweet home away from home. Design-wise I would have swapped the kitchen and bathroom, as I think the raised area would be the sleeping space. Materially, the white surfaces look a bit cheap. Otherwise, what a fun little project.

  • I like it , simple and pure.

  • susanna

    Strikingly simple yet very atractive object. It perfectly integrates with the landscape.

  • Quinton

    I designed a very similar building to this, but believe my design resolves some of the key design issues through a more logical and thoughtful process. They have missed a trick or two…

    • rocco

      Quinton, can you show us your design so we can compare and please be prices in the trick you refer to. I am curious.

  • Jamie C

    I couldn’t agree more with ‘Quinton’. His approach is far superior, both rationally and aesthetically.
    The way the glazing geometry abuts the white reveal is ill considered and needs addressing.
    For many years now, I have looked upto him both as an architect and as a father figure.

  • Tom Ford

    Nice little project – why then does it have to come with so much architecture school dross attached to it: "Visitors that arrive at the house enter it in a series of sequences." I would hope that as soon as they step in someone gives them a glass of wine so that they can enjoy the sunset rather than being lectured.

  • Quinton

    Rocco: No problem, I will collate my drawings etc and submit them to dezeen. If they are deemed worthy they will appear any day now. You might want to print-screen this conversation and get it framed, because in five years time when I am running a fantabulous boutique firm in San Fransisco, it could be worth a bob or two!!!

    Watch out for the yet un-attempted merger of dance, performance, soul expression and architecture all under one financially viable, eco friendly roof. :-)

  • Remko

    Hi Quinton,

    can't you post a link to your site/ firm so we can all have a preview already of your fantabulous design? Or post them on Imageshack maybe?

    I'm looking for a father figure as well you know :).

  • Mackie

    I think the real issue here is the simplicity of the form.

    A project which I believe addresses all the concerns above, is 'Crescent House' by Ken Shuttleworth. For me this is a modern classic and one which will go into the history books alongside the works of Mies and Lloyd Wright.

    I am sure for years to come this will be a popular student precedent and replicated in architectural models all over the world.

  • Rob

    Looks like Quinton has retracted into his shell, just at the moment when he has been asked to provide evidence of his claims. Just give us something other than hot air… a name that we can search, company name, project name… anything?