You’re waking up in the forest in a wood and glass cabin, the first rays of sun through an atrium over and around your bed. Coffee made, slide that glass panel - roof to sides to ceiling - and open up your morning to all the abundant nature around you.
This is the world of Cabin Anna, a remarkable within-nature design by Dutch architect Caspar Schols, and now available to buy as a flat-pack or to rent on-site and off-grid in the Holenberg forest in the Netherlands, bordering the Maashorst nature reserve, where bison roam free. If you’re looking for a one-off glass cabin experience, a stay in this particular glass cabin in the woods is, we’d humbly suggest, likely to be unforgettable.
There’s a beguiling concept behind this quietly brilliant glass cabin. “A dynamic connection between humans, nature and home,” is how designer Caspar Schols puts it. It all began as a simple project for his mother. She wanted a flexible space for her garden, a cabin that would be both a retreat to think and to write in, as well as being a social and dining area where, for example, her grandchildren could put on a theatre show. Result was that Garden House, as it was known, won awards around the world. Others wanted something similar, and the Cabin Anna project began. This was to be something that could be built anywhere from a flatpack, to be assembled, taken down and re-assembled in another place, to become a temporary glass cabin in the woods somewhere else.
So, this is a glass cabin with a democratic approach, constructed primarily of wood - and beautifully so - with the sliding component deliberately left to be moved by the power of human muscle - rather than electric power - further to connect occupants to both the experience and to the energies of the world beyond. Cabin Anna has itself won international architecture awards. In a complex digital world, the apparent simplicity of that first glass cabin in the woods of Holenberg forest has proved hugely popular, an analogue experience that connects us humans with the rest of the natural world. We’d love one on the South Downs, please.