Mechanical light cottage morphs sliding skin with use/seasons

When his mother began talking about putting a prefab in her backyard, - a physicist by training- was working at a tech firm, but had always loved architecture and asked if he could design her something special.

Wanting to create a home that you could change as easily as you change your clothes, Schols built the home in a series of shells on a wooden platform. The outer layer is insulated wood panels that slide open to reveal a glass greenhouse pavilion for hanging out or entertaining on colder days. The glass shell can also be rolled back to create an open-air dining, lounging or performance space. With more rolling, one can create other configurations, like the dinner party mode (wood in the middle, glass on the outside to create a covered space to fit a long table and 30 guests).

With no architecture training (at the time), Schols spent 8 months building the structure himself (with occasional help from family and friends). He set each shell on 8 small wheels which fit into tracks in a wooden platform. Into the floor he built-in pop-up beds and cabinets to hide outlets and he even had plans for a pop-out bathtub. Though after his mother and guests slept on the pop-up beds a few times they deemed them uncomfortable and he replaced them with furniture from the neighbor (who just happens to be designer ).

Caspar Schols:


  1. Interesting concept but not at all practical
    Mother must wonder WTF did you do with my money?
    Very boring but just put a greenhouse and deck on either end

  2. I have seen another house designed like this… not sure where but published. and another smaller and simpler one. Nice concept for the leisure classes. I wonder how many times it will be changed in a year? Charles woodward has asked the most practical of question for much of the world.

  3. Makes me dream of Mexico’s central plateau, the land of eternal spring. I’m envisioning a smallish compound, a walled garden really, with a building just like this, along with similar building that might have fewer moving parts, but has a bath on one end and a kitchen on the other end. The kitchen would open up to a patio. A boardwalk path would link the buildings. Hmmmm.

  4. Nice concept, but make one of the solid ends stationary and put the bathroom and maybe bedroom there. Let the other end have a movable glass house section with the movable solid shell. It makes much more practical sense half stationary, half convertible.

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