Located in the Dutch countryside amidst an idyllic landscape of lakes and sand islands, Tiny Holiday Home is, as its name indicates, a modestly sized private retreat, where nature can nevertheless be experienced in elegance and comfort. Designed by Dutch architect Chris Collaris and interior architects i29 for a family of four, the house is a paean to contemporary minimalism and compact living, for what the 75 square metre home lacks in size it more than makes up in immaculate detailing, smart interventions and eco-friendliness.
The building is a striking composition of four black cubic volumes, each housing a different function, situated on an elongated island plot close to the lake, in a spot where the views on the surrounding water and the available sunlight are optimal. It was designed from the inside-out with each function—a living room, a kitchen/dining area, a pantry and the private quarters—dictating the layout and size of the corresponding volume in order to make use of every inch of available space. Meanwhile, the relative positioning of each volume ensures that every room in the house offers a different view of either the garden or the lake.
The house’s minimalist credentials is exemplified by its austere exterior. Lined in dark pinewood, the facades feature invisible roof endings and hidden window frames, while each facet is punctured by one strategically placed window or sliding door which can be completely opened. The result is a cubist composition of immaculately crafted blocks that stand out amongst the green scenery but nevertheless share nature’s idealized beauty.
The introduction of an internal patio provides additional natural lighting to the living room and kitchen/dining area, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that, once open, merge the two zones into a single space, as well as enables multiple sightlines across the house.
The interiors feature a series of built-in cabinets, cupboards and wardrobes of minimalist design bestow a similarly austere elegance, enhanced by a subdued colour palette and the selective use of bespoke furniture in a similar aesthetic. Polished concrete floors and white-painted timber ceilings, generously illuminated by the abundant daylight, create bright and airy spaces, while the use of natural and stained black oak wooden panels provides a graphical quality as well as reference the house’s exterior and the surrounding natural landscape.
The use of natural, inexpensive materials built to the highest standards, in conjunction with an emphasis on simple yet smart solutions and the importance of sustainability, encapsulates the designers’ focus on quality and efficiency over pomp and showmanship, making this holiday retreat a model prototype for all small houses.