〈ANNA〉は現在までに、改良を積み重ねながら10棟建てられているおり、すべてのディテールを洗練させた最新モデル〈ANNA Collection〉や、自分の手で組み立てることができる〈ANNA One〉の開発も進められています。
設計したキャスパー・ショールズ（Caspar Schols）は、アムステルダム大学で物理学の学士と修士を取得し、2015年からはチップ製造企業で研究に従事、2016年に母親のために設計・建設した〈Garden House〉をきっかけとしてロンドン建築協会（Architectural Association in London）にて建築を学ぶという異色の経歴をもつ建築家です。
そして昨年の夏、私たちは10番目の〈ANNA〉にあたる〈ANNA Collection〉をつくり上げた。チームとともに、すべてのディテールを洗練させることに取り組んだ〈ANNA Collection〉は、これまでの最高傑作と言える作品である。
この〈ANNA Collection〉は、床置型のバスタブやベッド、中2階のベッドルーム、ラグジュアリーなバスルーム、フル装備のキッチンなど、フルパッケージのキャビンである。これに対し、〈ANNA Collection〉の姉妹機であり、同じ哲学と高い品質を誇りつつ、自分で組み立てることができる〈ANNA One〉の開発にも取り組んでいる。
〈ANNA One〉は、完全にフラットパックで注文し、自分で組み立てることができる、1:1スケールの建築模型のキットのようなものである。〈ANNA One〉では、バスルームとキッチンはオプションとなっており、好みに応じて設置することができる。
〈ANNA Collection〉や〈ANNA One〉は滞在の用途としてだけでなく、瞑想の拠点として、仕事場として、アートスタジオとして、ゲストハウスとして、自宅として、セレモニースペースとして活用することができる。
〈ANNA Collection〉は2023年後半に、EUにて10台限定で販売される。価格は437,000ユーロ（消費税別／現地設置料別）となっている。現在、国際的なエンジニアリング企業であるArupとともに、アメリカの規制に適合させるための調整を進めており、アメリカに最初に到着する〈ANNA Collection〉は、2024年前半を予定している。
〈ANNA One〉は、約250,000ユーロ（フラットパック納品）からのスタートとなり、最初の20台の〈ANNA One〉は、2024年後半に納品される予定である。
In 2016, I built a cabin for my mother. It was a turbulent time in our lives as we had recently lost my father to cancer. I had just finished my Physics degree and was starting the introduction year at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam when my mother asked me to design a multifunctional cabin for her on her forest plot.
I felt that the cabin had to be a place that would ground us as a family. My father’s passing had caused us to float and search for new roots in reality. I wanted to design a place where we would feel connected and where we would feel one. I started dreaming of how we could be surrounded by life instead of being shielded from it.
It took me 10 months to build the first version of Cabin ANNA (then called Garden House). And I had no idea what would happen after I finished it. Some photos were published and everything exploded. Two life changing things have happened since thanks to the exposure. First, I received a scholarship to study at the Architectural Association (AA) in London. Second, I found someone (or rather someone found me) who believed in ANNA. This man, now a dear friend, began to provide the means to develop my concept further. Two more key events followed that allowed me to develop my thinking on why I build ANNA in the first place. I discovered architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham and I met neuroscientist Margriet Sitskoorn.
What I built initially was purely based on intuition, with no knowledge of architecture (let alone architecture theory) whatsoever. All started to make more sense while studying at the AA, when I discovered Reyner Banham. According to Banham, the development of architecture started with fire as the first ‘architectural’ tool we used to create an environment bubble for improved living conditions. It was the first attempt of human beings in manipulating their environment into a safer and more comfortable one. Being modern human beings however we need a bit more than that to truly feel at home. We need a shelter and access to resources like water and electricity. Banham dreamed about creating a standard-of-living package (a term he borrows from Buckminster Fuller), a (high-tech) kit that includes existing and newly invented appliances that allow for comfortable living in nature. A sort of fire-kit 2.0, explicitly without the necessity for a piece of monumental architecture attached to it. Then it hit me. Although ANNA might in some ways be the opposite of what Banham was envisioning, I felt I had been trying to achieve the same thing, just in a low-tech form. I constructed a low-tech standard-of-living package, which would allow for a modern life connected to nature. A platform to live on. A suitcase almost, containing basic elements like a bed, a bath, water and sewage, electricity and of course a fire at the centre. To make all of that more comfortable under a wide range of weather a climate conditions I added the umbrellas. One made of glass, one made of wood, always ready and close at hand to be used for protection and comfort whenever the conditions require. No need for a monumental piece of architecture that cuts us of from our environment.
When I returned home after my studies at the AA, I met Margriet Sitskoorn, professor of clinical neuropsychology at Tilburg University. My thinking evolved during our countless conversations. She was able to explain why ANNA’s sliding layers, operated by muscle power, are so important to the design. Her reasoning goes like this. The brain is wired to understand what we can do with an object, based on the interaction between the properties of the object and the motor system of the human body. Therefor the brain gets ‘confused’ when the act or movement of the body is not aligned with the action that was set in motion. This is often the case when we interact with electronic devices like computers and iPhones. So let’s say, if ANNA’s layers were operated electronically, you would press a button with one finger and as a result a whole 2500 kg section would start to slide. Your mind has set about the movement of an object, but your body was barely involved. The body and mind are therefore not aligned. But the opposite is also true; when your mind and body are aligned it strengthens the experience.
When you push the layers of ANNA by hand, the body prepares the mind to open up and connect to the natural environment. It’s not just the physical boundaries that disappear, psychological boundaries simultaneously dissolve too. Your inner and outer world become one. You are fully immersed in the moment. In professor Sitskoorn’s terms, our thinking and feeling determine our actions but our actions also determine our thinking and feeling. This is called embodied cognition. And then, when you are fully emersed in a natural environment, your brain can relax and go into ‘default mode’. In this state of reflection, transcendent experiences and recovery processes can get going, both being essential for our mental health. For this reason, a life close to nature, surrounded by an environment that intuitively makes sense is essential for our well-being.
With this new perspective, I continued to build and further improve the original design. We have now built 10 ANNAs. Each one is better than the one before. We improved the sliding system so it is easy and safe to operate by hand. We also made it easier to assemble and disassemble so you can move ANNA at any time, turning the structure into a tool that can be used anywhere and that sits light in its environment. We made the cabin more durable and comfortable in a wider range of climates, by introducing better insulation and airtightness, without compromising the connection to the environment. Another important step to further develop ANNA towards a standard-of-living package, was a high degree of standardization. This ensures that the cabin can be handled with ease, and manufactured on mainstream CNC machines and assembled by anyone (without schooled labour), anywhere in the world. We also invented more features like, a bed and a bath that fold into, and pop up from the deck. All of these features are operated by hand to increase interaction with the cabin and the environment. From a concept that I created intuitively, we turned ANNA into an actual ‘standard-of-living package’ that allows you to live differently. An authentic tool for you to make any place in nature your home.
Last summer we built our 10th ANNA: ANNA Collection. Together with my team, I 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. ANNA Collection is my best work so far.
We are now ready to produce our first ANNA Collections. For the first 10 ANNA Collections, we are in conversation with people who have unique locations around the world. People who recognise and appreciate each detail and who long to connect with nature the way we do. People who want to help us spread our story and be one of our founding partners.
I will personally build these first 10 ANNAs together with my team. We will make sure it is built perfectly and once finished, I will sign to confirm. ANNA Collection only comes with full options: in- floor bath, in-floor bed, mezzanine bedroom, luxury bathroom, outdoor shower, high-end taps and fully equipped kitchen.
Next to ANNA Collection, we have been working on ANNA One. ANNA One is based in the same philosophy, the same high quality, but stripped to the essence. ANNA One comes with the option to order completely flatpack and assemble yourself. Much like a 1:1 scale model building kit. We supply a set of detailed instructions so you can assemble all modular elements – that would normally be put together in our wood workshop – yourself.
The bathroom and the kitchen will be optional for ANNA One. This enables you to make your own choices and install your own kitchen or bathroom if you prefer. By allowing people to build ANNA with their own muscle power we take one step further in the interaction between the human, the environment and the cabin, in line with Sitskoorn her theory.
ANNA January 2023
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.
ANNA Collection and ANNA One
In 2019 and 2020, we built eight ANNA Stays which were received and tested by some of our early supporters. All the knowledge and learning from those cabins was translated into our most recent model. We spent two years redesigning ANNA from scratch. We made the design more durable, more sustainable, more user friendly, more beautiful, easier to assemble (and disassemble so you can move her at any time) and suitable for a wide range of climates. Last summer, we installed our first redesigned and reengineered model in the Dutch wildlife reserve De Biesbosch: ANNA Collection.
Currently we are negotiating the delivery of the first 10 ANNA Collections to be built in Europe in 2023, and our aim is to send the first two to the US. Most slots are allocated but we still have a couple open. ANNA Collection will be personally built and signed off by me together with my team to make sure everything is perfect.
In the meantime, we are working on ANNA One, the sister of ANNA Collection, which you can assemble yourself. We will be testing the first ANNA Ones this year and aim to deliver the first 20 ANNA Ones late 2024. After the official launch, people will be able to reserve ANNA One and make an official order for ANNA Collection.
ANNA can be used as a meditation hub, a work office, an art studio, a guest house, a home, a ceremony space… Therefor we decided to drop the Stay and introduce the new models as ANNA Collection and ANNA One.
In the second half of this year (Q3+Q4 2023), we will do a limited run of 10 ANNA Collections in the EU. The price will be €437,000 (ex VAT/ ex onsite installation). Together with international engineering firm Arup, we are currently adjusting ANNA to comply with US regulations. The first ANNA Collections to arrive in the US are scheduled for Q1+Q2 2024. ANNA Collection comes with full options and high-end crafted finish including:
– In-floor bath
– In-floor storable bed (queen-size)
– Mezzanine bedroom (queen-size)
– Luxury bathroom finish
– Outdoor shower
– High-end taps and switches
– Fully equipped kitchen
– Accoya and stainless steel finishes
– Personally delivered and signed by designer
We are currently developing ANNA One. Same philosophy, same high quality, but stripped to the essence. ANNA One will come with the option to order as a flatpack that you put together yourself, much like a scale 1:1 model building kit.
Optional in ANNA One:
– Fully equipped kitchen
ANNA One will come from a starting price of around €250,000 (flatpack delivery). The first 20 ANNA Ones are scheduled for delivery late 2024.
After high school, Caspar Schols obtained a BSc and a MSc in Physics from the University of Amsterdam, working in his final year of the masters on research at the chip-manufacturer ASML (2015). In that same year, he was selected to follow the introduction year at Gerrit Rietveld Academy of Arts (Amsterdam). In 2016, he designed and built Garden House for his mother. The publicity around Garden House led to a number of award nominations, including the Dirk Roosenburg Award (Eindhoven), Radical Innovation Awards (New York) and the Dezeen Small building longlist (London). Garden House became the top three most popular architectural project of 2017 in the Netherlands according to magazine De Architect. Around that same time, he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Architectural Association in London (2016-2019). At the moment he is working on a number of art and architectural projects, among which is Cabin ANNA. ANNA Stay won the A+ Awards (New York, 2021) Project of the Year (out of 5,000 projects worldwide) and the World Hotel Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival (2022). ANNA Collection was recently selected by the Arc22 Dutch Architecture Awards as top three most innovative architecture project of the Netherlands and by the Frame Awards as the first winner of 2023. In 2022, ANNA Collection was longlisted by Dezeen in the category Small buildings under the working title ANNA Stay 2022.
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