Caspar Schols

Caspar Schols


ANNA Collection

ANNA has two protective sliding shells that you can open up to become part of your surroundings. The inner shell is made of double glazing, the outer shell is made of wood. By adjusting the two shells, ANNA changes and adapts to the weather, your mood or the occasion. ANNA allows us to connect to a reality where we naturally belong. In wintertime, ANNA’s insulated wooden shell keeps the warmth inside like a thick winter coat. In spring or autumn, the glass keeps the rain outside or lets the sun in to warm up the space. If it warms up too much, you can either slide and close the wooden layer to block the warming sun or slide the glass layer open to let a cool wind enter. During every season you can live and sleep under the glass or in the open with protective layers within reach. You might experience the beauty of a fierce rain shower from under the glass roof, wake up among the birds in the early morning and be mesmerized at night by the starry sky directly above your bed.

By sliding the layers, ANNA takes you by the hand to reconnect step by step with Mother Nature, which I believe is incredibly important for our own health and the health of our planet. Margriet Sitskoorn, neuroscientist at Tilburg University, explains that what happens in the brain while staying at ANNA is actually a strong cognitive response. That is because your whole body is involved in opening up the whole cabin. From the perspective of the brain, you create your own outdoors. She relates this to Embodied Cognition. It is completely different and much more powerful than what happens if you just walk out through an ordinary door. Basically, propelled by your body the cabin prepares the brain to open up and connect to the natural environment. And when the brain is fully connected to its natural environment, recovery processes kick in which are important to prevent health issues like chronic stress that so many of us suffer from due to the way we live. This is also the reason why we don’t offer an electronic opening version of ANNA. Using your own muscle power is essential.

ANNA is modularly developed, which results in a short installation time on site (~5 days) and minimal ecological disruption. Due to dry connections, it can be disassembled and moved at any time without leaving a trace in nature. ANNA will outlive you, but if ever needed, the materials can be separated and reused. To ensure a low transportation footprint, ANNA is designed in such a way that 80% of her unique parts can be produced locally all over the world using a digital file. We are testing this concept in 2023 and aim to sell the first digitally manufactured, locally produced cabins in 2024. Furthermore, we used rubber and aluminium extrusion techniques, resulting in 26 for ANNA uniquely designed profiles to ensure perfect water and wind tightness. The most innovative part is the patented rails with integrated wind labyrinth. As materials expand differently in a range of climates and conditions, one massive challenge we met is realising a minimal combined material tolerance in the moving parts. This was necessary to make sure ANNA always slides smoothly.

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Status: Built
Location: Werkendam, NL
Firm Role: Design, Development
Additional Credits: Engineers Piet Oostervink and David Sie

ANNA explained by Caspar Schols

ANNA Collection in Wildlife reserve De Biesbosch