For a zen vacation, nothing beats the forest. However, not all of us want to go through the hassle of setting up camp. Not to mention cleaning the portable grill once you’re done making dinner. Or wriggling inside sleeping bags because of the extreme cold.

While those aforementioned things are what truly defines an honest-to-goodness outdoors experience, you can opt out of them entirely and live in this quaint little forest retreat designed by Uhlik Architekti instead.

The minimalist and highly modern house is uniquely in contrast with its surroundings. It’s got sharp edges, rigid shapes, and intensely dark colors against the lush, freewheeling zen of the forest. Even still, the designer found a way to make it appear an organic part of the area. He they did so by making what’s possibly one of the simplest elements in architecture — a boulder. Yup, a huge boulder appears to be holding the entire structure together. In effect, you see the monolithic slab of black leaning heavily on the stone. It’s such a tiny addition but it makes all the difference.

More on the forest retreat itself: You can flip the walls up and expose large panels of glass, revealing the scarce space inside. The interior is done up in raw plywood, its lightness in color and appearance serving as a lovely complement to the harshness of the exterior. In the ground floor you’ll find a wood-burning stove, plus large stairs that takes you to the additional stretch of space above, with scenic views of the forest just outside the glass. Much of the interior space is kept minimal, making it a perfect opportunity for transformation. Surely anyone giddy enough to convert the nondescript space into their personal sanctuary will find this extraordinary.


Photos courtesy of Uhlik Architekti