Project: Cottage Prototype
Architecture and interior design: Concrete Amsterdam
Team: Rob Wagemans, Mark Haenen, Sofie Ruytenberg, Murk Wymenga, Amandine Marot, Aylin Mutish, Joan Doyer
Project development: Center Parcs, Capelle aan de IJssel (NL)
Executive architect: ANSSP, Hamburg (DE)
Structural engineer: WP ingenieure, Hamburg (DE)
Modular contractor: Machiels Building Solutions, Genk (BE)
Bathroom supplier: Stengel GmbH, Ellwangen (DE)
MEP contractor: Steinbrink, Lotte (DE)
Shopfitter furniture: Robos, Dalfsen (NL)
Curtains: Vos project, Nijkerk (NL)
Landscape architect: Jean Henkens, Center Parcs
Location: Center Parc Bispinger Heide, Bispingen, Germany
Total constructed area: 109 m2
Text and Photos: Courtesy of Concrete
Concrete and Center Parcs embarked on a journey to redefine the holiday experience. Center Parcs, renowned for its family-friendly holiday parks in the heart of nature, aimed to enhance its offerings for a broader audience. Concrete developed a new and innovative generation of prototype cottages, rethinking the classic Center Parcs bungalow.
A cottage prototype has been constructed at Parc Bispinger Heide in Germany, available for rental by guests. Drawing inspiration from the original design by Dutch architects Van den Broek and Bakema, Concrete crafted a contemporary experience, centred around togetherness and nature. Concrete is bringing its expertise in modular construction to Center Parcs, devising a cottage that is sustainable, easy to build, and with a small impact on its environment.
Finding yourself in nature
At the core of the new design is the concept of finding oneself in nature. The idea was to create spaces where guests could disconnect from the hustle of daily life and reconnect with themselves. The new cottages achieve this by
seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces. A floor-to-ceiling glass facade offer uninterrupted views of the surrounding nature, making the outdoors feel like an extension of the living room.
A modular cottage for conscious living
The cottage is comprised by two prefabricated modules, containing all essentials – kitchen, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. The modules are connected by the living room, which allows nature to pour in. The living room is not only the connecting space but also the heart of the cottage. It is bathed in natural lights thanks to the windows, which allow views to the front and to the back. Each side of the house offers a different perspective on the beautiful forest outside. In front of the living room, there is an outdoor private terrace, offering guests an intimate space to enjoy the outdoors. The cottage doesn’t offer just a view on nature but a real immersion.
Promoting a togetherness, our living room is designed around a central oversized dining table, perfect for your board game after dinner. The modular corner couch, inspired by the iconic 1970s Center Parcs style, has been reimagined into a versatile sofa. Guests can rearrange it to create personalized seating arrangements, accommodating all the needs of the modern family.
The project is designed around the principle of modular pre-fabrication, with a hybrid of 2D elements and 3D modules created off-site and quickly assembled in the scenic natural spot. The cottage is easily installed on site, allowing it to be ready for guests in less than 2 weeks.
The architecture of the cottage is simple and unobtrusive, maintaining the tradition of modernist architecture of Van den Broek and Bakema and making sure the outdoors remain a focal point. The influence of the original architects is also evident in the thoughtful clustering of cottages. Adopting Bakema’s favoured technique, the cottages are arranged in a staggered layout. This arrangement ensures privacy by shielding views between neighbouring cottages and prevents terraces from intruding upon each other, preserving a sense of serenity.
The cottage prototype has been carefully designed with a strong emphasis on sustainability and minimizing energy consumption. First, the cottage features high-quality insulation, which minimizes heat loss and maximizes energy efficiency. Moreover, only materials of organic origin are used, which not only reduces the ecological footprint but also contributes to a healthier indoor environment. The consistent use of wood on both exterior and interior blurs the distinction between inside and outside, strengthening the connection to nature.
The stone flooring, cross-laminated timber (CLT) ceiling, and spruce wood wall cladding establish a timeless neutral colour palette. Using high-quality, durable materials minimizes the need for frequent replacement and maintenance. In terms of energy supply, the cottage operates entirely on electricity, utilizing photovoltaic cells on the roof and a heat pump for heating and cooling.
All this contributes to an eco-friendly and sustainable stay, with the preservation of the environment at its core.