This instantly transforming garden shed is almost too incredible to be real, expanding from a compact structure into several different configurations with either an open pavilion or a greenhouse-style room with a transparent roof. The builder, Caspar Schols, had no prior construction experience before taking on the project for his mother, who wanted a place where she could paint, host dinners for friends, meditate and watch performances by her grandchildren.
Set on the shore of a pond in the Schols’ garden, The Garden House is built upon a wooden platform, and slides along rails built into its edges. When it’s all closed up, it looks like an ordinary shed. But when manually pulled out – a process that’s designed to be easy enough for Schols’ mother to do herself – it shows off what it can really do.
The inner structure is made of wooden beams and glass, while the outer shell features wooden walls and a metal roof. Openings in the outer shell enable Schol’s mother to position the windows wherever she wants them to be in the interior, and the whole arrangement can be configured in dozens of different ways depending on how far you extend the various parts. There’s even a bed built into the pavilion that raises up when needed.
When it’s nice out, the entire center of the house can be opened to the sky, or the house can contract in the colder months, creating two outdoor terraces on either end. It’s a pretty cool setup – architecture doesn’t get much more versatile than this. And it’s all achieved using simple, low-tech methods that can be easily reproduced. Anybody up for building an entire house with the same concept?