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Cardboard Cabinet-Cabin

A cathedral-like cabin composed of cardboard designed by Jeroen van Mechelen accommodates a guest room inside a villa in Switzerland that was carved out of a mountain wall.

By Editor /asdf 17-12-2009

This design for a special cabinet-cabin by Jeroen van Mechelen (Studio JVM) creates a guesthouse within a newly designed villa that was carved out of a mountain wall in the village of Vals in Switzerland.

Designed by the renowned architectural firm SeARCH in collaboration with Christian Müller architects, the villa has only one visible element which is an elliptical patio, manifest as a circular hole in the steep mountainside.

By materializing the invisible lines that define the very conditions of this house (the contour of the mountain, and the radials of the patio) a 3-dimensional cardboard matrix is created. Two typical chapel-like volumes are carved from this matrix. The cavities created are the bedroom and bathroom now enveloped by a 3 dimensional library cabinet.

The idea was inspired by the medieval painting 'St. Jerome in his study' by Antonella da Messina. Like this painting, the cardboard-carved "inverted chapel" becomes an autonomous space, which -like the mountain house-reversed- materializes in the genius loci of the house. Lightweight cardboard sandwich panels were directly CNC-carved from the design files. In two days the cardboard space was simply pieced together by the design team.

Project: Hidden Lines, a cardboard cabinet
Design: Jeroen van Mechelen, Studio JVM (
CNC Carving: Nedcam b.v. (

Villa Vals:
Architect: SeARCH and CMA
Design: Bjarne Mastenbroek & Christian Müller

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