As longtime cabin connoisseurs, we've come across many unique designs and impressive structures over the years, but Cabin ANNA by Dutch designer Caspar Schols might just take the cake (stroopwafel?). Originally built for Schol's mother on a tight budget of $23,600, the ANNA design has since been released in two prefab models sure to impress even the toughest critics.
Inspired by railway station trusses, the ANNA cabins not only boast intricate internal structures but are locomotive-like themselves. Each cabin is divided into three parts: two external shells that roll apart, with a movable greenhouse-like structure nested underneath. One portion of the cabin acts as an anchor and stays fixed, while the remaining unit and the glass structure move on rails, creating an adjustable system that adapts to varying weather conditions (or the whims of a visitor).
ANNA Collection is the burgeoning brand's prefab, residential model. At around 320 square feet and roughly 15 feet tall, the modest space suits a couple of occupants—or a small family if they really like each other. The anchored portion of the cabin hosts the amenities; a kitchen, bathroom, woodstove, storage, and a lofted bed. The remaining floor space, which can be covered, completely open to the elements, or sheltered by the "greenhouse" depending on the configuration, contains a hidden in-floor queen-size bed and bathtub underneath weathertight, removable panels. ANNA is inspired by humankind's connection to nature, and this dynamic structure directly reflects and adapts to the environment's changing seasons, weather, and moods.
ANNA Collection is designed to be sustainable too. Prefabricated off-site, then assembled using dry connections similar to Japanese joinery, the entire structure can be deconstructed and recycled or rebuilt on another site. 80% of ANNA's parts can be produced on a local CNC machine and the design means the structure will not require a typical concrete foundation, depending on the soil type. Double glazing, an airtight shell, and weathertight seals means ANNA can withstand a variety of climates and is fit for most locations around the world.
And technically, they can be built anywhere in the world—but for now ANNA is focusing on launching in the Netherlands, Europe, and the US, with plans to manufacture just 10 models in 2023. All this quality doesn't come cheap though, and with steep material costs and supply chain delays, the current price for an ANNA Collection is set at €437,000 excl. VAT, or about $480,000 USD.
If that isn't in the budget at the moment, you can still experience staying in an ANNA at the company's Holenberg site in the Netherlands, which includes a variety of ANNA prototype spread throughout pastoral acres. Prices start at $237/night.
The brand is also working on its first-ever cabin building kit, called the ANNA One. While still in development, ANNA One will give buyers the chance to DIY their own cabin from scratch. The first 20 kits are set to be released in the latter half of 2024, with pre-order available to a few brave souls open now.
The ANNA Collection has already gained worldwide recognition and several design awards, and it's not hard to see why. Of all the prefab cabins out there, it may just be the most innovative and well-crafted design yet and if it's any indication of where eco-design and prefab architecture is headed, we're definitely along for the ride.