Forest Kaleidoscope
Folly and tiny holiday house, 40 sqm, Veluwe forest, Buitenplaats Koningsweg, Arnhem, The Netherlands
Tiny House as a Follie in the Woods

In the middle of National Park the Veluwe, the largest forest in the Netherlands, a former military base is being transformed into a cultural enclave in nature. Several unique follies, sculptural objects with hidden compact holiday homes will enrich the experience of this landscape. One of these follies is the Forest Kaleidoscope.

Encountering The Forest Kaleidoscope

Walking through the woods you enter a crossroads with a mysterious phenomenon. An elusive volume dissolves into and distorts its environment. The nature and its elements seem to have pushed up the earth against it. The shape of the element accompanies the splitting of the paths and frames the beech tree behind it. The perception of the forest with its vertical lines is intensified by the fragmented reflection in vertical strips of the object. Passing by the ever-changing mirror image becomes a kaleidoscopic experience of the surrounding nature.
The Forest Kaleidoscope seems to have been pushed out of the soil by large forces. On top is a piece of raised landscape. The volume gently curls around a large beech tree. It has two sides with different characters. The abstract folded stainless steel mirror strips contrast with the more intimate wooden side facing the beech. A wooden interior landscape extends outwards to form a wooden terrace deck. The sheltered part of the walls and floors with integrated furniture create a cave like experience. From within you enjoy beautiful views of the heather fields. The temporary residents become both spectators and actors within their magnificent surroundings.



The Forest Kaleidoscope folly is almost energy neutral and is built circularly and emission-free from sustainable materials. It occasionally needs minimal heating. The natural materials such as wood and wood fiber allow the building to breathe, which provides a pleasant indoor climate. Nearby manufactured timber frame elements can be installed with lightweight electrical means. The building is completely demountable and could be rebuilt on a different location in the future. The CO2 storage of the used wood compensates the CO2 for the stainless steel elements. The grass roof provides biodiversity, accumulates water and provides extra insulation in winter and cooling in summer. The foundations consist of prefab concrete panels to avoid damage to the tree roots.

Nature Inclusivity

Biodiversity is enhanced by the raised grass roof landscape in combination with the open wooden facade. In the roof and facade are cavities for bats and birds. The curvature of the roof creates sheltered areas with good flight paths for birds and burrows for squirrels. The reflective facade is fragmented which provides enough differentiation and confusion to prevent birds from colliding with it. The grass roof has a mixed native vegetation that creates a rich animal life of butterflies and insects.

Disappearing Presence

How can human intervention relate to the cultivated natural landscape? The Forest Kaleidoscope creates a unique experience of the beautiful context for both the park visitor and the temporary inhabitants. It is simultaneously absent and present, modest and playful. It provides an answer to the question how do you catch a beech tree in the forest?

Team: Edwin Larkens, Majka Mikulska, Philip Vencken
Client: private
Status: competition 2022

Copyright Studio Larkemika