Surrounded by forest, the Glass House is a glasshouse-inspired holiday rental in the Netherlands’ east. Architecturally designed, it features two bedrooms and a natural swimming pool.
What is the story behind Steel House what was your inspiration to create it?
We love to go on holidays but we are always too late. All of a sudden, we decide to go on holiday and it’s too late to rent a really nice home. Sometimes, we’d find something in a nice location and it would look great from the outside, but when we stayed, the bed wasn’t good, it wasn’t that clean or we didn’t feel inspired.
One holiday, we stayed in a really nice place and it had such a great bed. So when we got home, we went out to buy a good quality mattress. The house inspired us! Eventually, we found that coming home felt like being on holiday because our home was so comfortable.
Based on our experience, we decided to design a house that incorporated all of the things we felt were important. This was what we called Cabin 01. It was our first design — a small, wooden house that we built as though it was a piece of furniture. Initially, it wasn’t necessarily to be rented out but more so that people could buy it and put it in their backyard.
It was a prefab design that was constructed inside and eventually moved to a wooded plot in the Netherlands’ east. Here, people could see it and experience it before purchase by renting it out. From day one, it was full. A year later, we found another piece of land beside a dyke and designed another house. Both have since been sold.
We currently have four houses to rent and another three being built in the Netherlands, plus a fourth on an island in Sweden. Our process is to find really beautiful locations and design a house that meets the regulations and the surroundings. After renting them out for between one and three years, we sell them so we can build another house.
Our team of three includes myself, my husband and a friend of ours. My husband and I met while studying economics in Rotterdam and both have quite strong ideas about how you can live. While we’re not architects, we started designing houses together, then went to an expert to do the architectural drawings. Our friend is a contractor and, together with my husband, is in charge of the builds while I take care of the rentals.
Our main business concept is that we don’t want to make compromises. We design and build houses that we really like, then sell them. Previously we have worked on commission but don’t really like it because you always have to compromise.
How would you describe the atmosphere and the interior design of Steel House?
We always wanted to build a round house and the Steel House is a half-round house! We like designing properties that are open towards the outdoors but enclosed at the back. It’s like they are embracing you. You feel safe but can also see the world. This was our inspiration.
The Steel House is located in the middle of the forest. We wanted to build a house for six people (as our partner has four kids) but we could only build 100 square metres and three metres high. Since we have built so many houses together, we followed our usual process of sitting down and thinking about what we would love to have ourselves, then coming up with ideas.
We really like weathered steel and the surrounding forest has a lot of leafy trees that turn orange in the autumn. So we felt like that material would really suit this location. Throughout the interior, we have used fraké wood, which is really durable and helps to connect everything together.
To you personally, what is so special about Steel House?
I like that you are in the middle of the forest and there is nobody in the immediate vicinity. Because it is our biggest house, it feels very luxurious and comfortable. You have a lot of space and a lot of privacy, despite how open the house is.