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The story of cabin ANNA

How a small idea turned into a world-class design

It was October 18 2016, when a young Dutch designer’s world got turned upside down instantly. An article about the cabin he had designed for his mother received global attention following an article in Dezeen, one of the world’s most popular design magazines. He had been playing with ways for people to live closer to nature for a long time, and then came his idea to let the world experience the beauty of nature in a safe and comfortable environment.


Design of the first cabin

Caspar Schols is the Dutch designer behind Cabin ANNA. After obtaining his BSc and a MSc in Physics from the University of Amsterdam in 2015, his mother asked him to build her a garden cabin. With a fascination for architecture and design but no architectural training, he was looking for a concept to create a dynamic connection between humans, nature and home. A flexible space where his mother could read or paint, organize family dinners, somewhere her grandchildren put on a theater show. But above all, the cabin had to bring her closer to nature. After completion, the cabin was called Garden House.

2016 - 2017

Worldwide recognition

An article about Garden House was published in Dezeen, one of the world’s most popular design magazines. The publicity around the project led to different award nominations, including the Dirk Roosenburg Award in Eindhoven, the Radical Innovation Award in New York, and the Dezeen Small Building of the Year Award in London. The project became the third most popular architectural project of 2017 in the Netherlands. Around the same time, Caspar was awarded an educational scholarship at the Architectural Association in London (2016-2019).


Radical Innovation Award winner

​​ANNA Stay was first acknowledged by The Radical Innovation Competition in 2017. Cabin ANNA was a conceptual design by Caspar Schols, fulfilling his mother’s dream to sleep under the stars in their backyard. The esteemed Radical jury recognized this project as both a realistic and futuristic idea that would change the hospitality industry.  

Radical Innovation was Conceptualized in 2006, this annual competition has been shifting the norm in the global hospitality industry by recognizing excellence in design, architecture, travel, products and more. This initiative challenges creative thinkers and design visionaries at the professional and student level to pioneer compelling innovations to submit ground-breaking ideas that fuel the future of the hospitality and travel industries.

2016 - 2019

Redesign for Cabin ANNA

During his studies, Caspar created a new design derived from foundational philosophy of the Garden House. A philosophy where the initial spirit of flexibility and connectivity to the natural environment would remain. The goal was to design a sellable, fully habitable house, as a flatpack that could be built and re-built anywhere in the world. Thanks to his supporting partners, Caspar was able to build different prototypes in his search for the perfect cabin to connect nature, self and cabin dynamically. The first prototype was called ANNA Origin and is available to rent at Holenberg in the Netherlands. The primal experience of ANNA Origin has an authentic charm that makes an overnight stay extra special.


Launch Cabin ANNA

In October 2020, Cabin ANNA was presented to the world. Cabin ANNA is a dynamic home in the shape of an open platform for you to live with the elements, by playing with the configuration of the layers of the house. Just like the way you decide what to wear to suit different weather conditions, occasions and moods. International media immediately expressed overwhelming appreciation of the design. 


Holenberg resort opens

From April 2021, you can experience ANNA Stay in Holenberg, located at the beautiful De Maashorst nature reserve in the Netherlands. Dutch and international visitors eagerly awaited the arrival of Cabin ANNA in its natural habitat. The opening was a huge success. In just a couple of days Holenberg was fully booked for the entire 2021 season, and amazing articles were featured in the national and international media. The reviews and feedback we receive from our guests give us even more energy to provide this experience in different countries around the globe.


Architizer A+Awards Project of the Year Award

ANNA never fails to impress people; design leaders included. The concept won the internationally acclaimed 2021 Architizer A+Awards Project of the Year Award. The architectural award follows Cabin ANNA being selected as the Jury Winner in the Architecture +Living Small category. With more than 5,000 entries from over 100 countries, the Architizer A+Awards is the world’s largest awards program for architecture and building products. The Project of the Year Award honours five projects that champion architecture’s impact on everyday life. Past honourees include world-renowned designers and companies like Mecanoo (Francine Houben) and Zaha Hadid Architects (Patrik Schumacher).


The Guardian: 'One of the best eco-friendly places to stay in Europe'

Holenberg was named one of the 10 best eco-friendly places to stay in Europe by the renowned British newspaper The Guardian. The newspaper praises Holenberg's sustainable approach: ”Tucked away in the forest, among a rusty palette of trees, heather and wetlands, sits off-grid and self-sufficient Cabin ANNA. With the safari, cycling and hiking opportunities on the doorstep and the focus on reducing your environmental impact. The Holenberg forest is the gateway to the Maashorst nature reserve, a rewilding pioneer in North Brabant.”


ANNA Collection

In the summer of 2022, we built our 10th ANNA: ANNA Collection. The Biesbosch nature reserve in the Netherlands is the home of ANNA Collection. Our team worked on refining every detail. That little edge there, the transition here, how you open and slide that element, what you feel when you touch each natural surface. The combination of moving mechanics and materials coming together form a balanced whole. 

This didn't go unnoticed. ANNA Collection was awarded Best Hotel Building of 2022 during the World Architecture Festival and was featured in the discovery+ series Make Yourself at Home. Have a look at our media & awards page for more!

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