Dutch Mountain home is a spacious single family home designed by architecture studio denieuwegeneratie, situated on a historical agricultural plot amidst hayfields and woods in a nature reserve in Huizen, The Netherlands. Although the plot has been overrun with small trees in time, it still bears the original character of the open field. To minimize disturbance of the landscape and as a reference to the surrounding hilly terrain, the 7,631 square foot (709 square meters) house is embedded in an artificial hill. At the same time, this answered the client’s demand for keeping his ecological footprint with the house to a minimum. The embedding in the hill simultaneously functions as camouflage and as a blanket, hiding the house from view from the north side and using the earth as thermal insulation. One enters the house through cuts in the mountain, sided with panels of slowly corroding scrap steel.
On the south side, the house has been opened to a maximum. The grand glass facade is framed in timber,which guides the transition from the artificial to the natural. The canopy regulates sunshine through the seasons and allows for a large terrace along the full width of the house. The terrace follows the split level of the ground floor, jumps up to the higher west facade creating a henhouse underneath. Finally, it curls back up to become the canopy.
The frame is constructed out of lark wood, forested from the immediate surroundings and therefore making it a hyperlocal use of material. Detailing creates a seamless transition between the interior and the exterior: the concrete floor, window frames and terrace finishing are all flush and continuous from inside to outside.
The spatial structure of the house is a rectangular 12 x 19 meter open space. Steel cross the entire 12 meter width allowing great flexibility to the interior arrangement. Inside the hall-like space, the rooms are stacked in a disorderly manner and built out of light wooden structures, facilitating easy implementation of possible future changes. The interior can evolve along with its inhabitants, a young family, rooms being added or removed through time.
There is a binary spatial experience in the house. Either you are in a room, with a cave-like atmosphere, daylight coming to you through deep cuts in the mountain – or you are in the large open space in front of the stacked rooms. This large space is oriented towards the 90 m2 glass facade which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding woods.
The contrast between shell and rooms is clearly visible. The concrete wall, needed to retain the mass of the mountain, is left unfinished. The welding joints of the steel spans are visible and the wood is untreated. Within this rough shell of untreated construction materials, the stack of rooms tells a completely different story: every room is finished by the inhabitants in a unique and colorful way, which expresses the individuality of the boxes.
The design is an experiment in sustainable strategies in both architecture – the hardware – and the technical installations – the software – which have been designed by Arup Amsterdam. The software concept consists of photovoltaics, LED lighting, wood pellet heating in combination with low temperature heating, CO2 monitored ventilation, a grey water circuit and the use of smart domotics. The result is a house in which the total amount of energy produced exceeds its consumption: excess energy can be used for a electric car.
The house is bold and unpredictable: an experiment in sustainable strategies in concept, structure, material and technical installations. A house that blends quietly in its surroundings, but stands out with spatial surprises.
Photos: Courtesy of Eric Kant
Villa V is nestled on the edge of the Kennemer dunes, close to Bloemendaal in The Netherlands, designed by i29 interior architects. The sustainable home follows a minimalistic design and shows respect for man and nature alike, in a unique residential area where the existing flora and fauna are given full rein. I29 interior architects worked on the interior of the villa which was designed by Paul de Ruiter architects. A minimal approach to the materialization and detailing of the building is a core value of both the interior and exterior design. The large expanses of glass and the patio result in maximum day-lighting and give the inhabitants the feeling that the villa and the surrounding landscape are one.
In order to bring nature inside even more, all of the interior functions in the house are made from natural materials. i29 interior architects created large surfaces of wood through the whole house to connect the different areas. Cabinets, wardrobes, walls, sliding doors, beds and even a fireplace have been made in one and the same material. Pine wood panels, which are normally a basic material, have been used as a high end finishing with fine details.
Photos: Tim van de Velde
Joyce & Jeroen house renovation was an overhaul of a traditional townhouse in The Hague, Netherlands by Dutch studio Personal Architecture. The dilapidated state has necessitated a thorough reinforcement of the foundation and load-bearing structure of the entire house, opening up extraordinary possibilities in an otherwise commonplace apartment renovation. The combination of ambitious design visions and a large measure of trust from the client have resulted in a rigorous and uncompromising redesign, in which voids and split levels accentuate the full height of Den Haag’s typical row houses.
They added mezzanine floors, a glass elevation, a triple-height kitchen and a spiral staircase. Whilst the front half of the house retains its original facade and layout, the architects removed the brickwork garden elevation and replaced it with a steel framework and full-height glass wall, generating an optimal source of daylight. The interplay of voids, the split-levels and the glass facade, all create a spectacular drama between interior and exterior on the one hand, and between the existing and new floors on the other.
The intervention in the back of the house can be interpreted as a three-dimensional, L-shaped element of five storeys, accessed by a new steel spiral staircase. The staircase brings a new dynamic between the different parts of the house and makes a separation between owners and guests possible. Vertically, the L-shaped element ends in a roof-terrace with jacuzzi and outer kitchen that lies far above the balconies of the lower floors.
Small sets of steps connect the four mezzanine levels with the three existing floors of the house, while the original staircases provide a link between floors at the front of the house.
Above the kitchen, a translucent polycarbonate wall lets light into the master bedroom though a walk-in wardrobe positioned at its back.
A wire-fence balustrade creates a balcony on the second floor, so residents can look down from an office to the kitchen below.
Four new mezzanines overlook the kitchen from the side of the house, providing a new bathroom, library and pantry that feature untreated pine walls and floors. A steel staircase spirals up between the levels and leads up to a rooftop terrace and hot tub.
The architects cut away sections of the first and second floors, creating a triple-height kitchen filled with natural light.
Photos: René de Wit
This stunning renovated farmhouse is located in Utrecht, Netherlands, designed by interior design firm VIVA VIDA. The farmhouse was quite spacious and the clients wanted it to be designed with salvaged furnishings and materials. They wanted the original atmosphere and function but with any corny interiors. The designers found the perfect match between the original character of the house and contemporary, craft customization, fitting the atmosphere that the clients wanted in the areas and in the way they wanted to live in the house.
“You can spend your time relaxing yourself and you keep surprised and puzzled. All of the spaces are intimate and with its own character. They form entirely original details like the crochet stair parts and (re) use of old materials. The functional design of the kitchen and the special box beds make it personal. Even the wallpaper in our son’s bedroom is made from a photograph of my grandfather as a child around here plays. “
Photos: Courtesy of VIVA VIDA
A monumental coach house and stable from 1760 has been transformed into a spacious home in Breukelen, Netherlands by Zecc Architects in cooperation with BYTR Architects. A mishmash of built curiosities is removed. Historical elements became visible again. The stable, still complete with hay racks and troughs, is used as a living room. The tack room becomes the entrance hall and the coach house the new kitchen. Some over-sized high doors reappeared during the demolition. This created a surprising connection between living room and kitchen. In this high dimension, a new staircase of solid oak wood is placed as a modern addition. It has become the center of the house, and daylight falls from the roof into the new kitchen. A double hood with wooden trusses determines the atmosphere upstairs. A seating arrangement around a wood stove is added as a pleasant lounge. From here the bedrooms and bathrooms are accessible as well.
This so called do-it-yourself dwelling in the center of Rotterdam, The Netherlands is part of a bold experiment initiated by the municipality to revitalize dilapidated urban areas. Run-down pre-war dwellings are renovated on the outside by design studio Shift Architecture Urbanism and brought back to their monumental appearance, while the interiors are stripped bare. The empty shell dwellings are primarily bought by enthusiastic young people who transform them according to their specific needs, desires and budgets. Real estate developers have picked up the initiative and a new demand driven market of urban housing has been generated in recent years. The result is a growing number of contemporary custom-made dream houses within the uniform old fabric of the traditional nineteenth and early twentieth century city.
Here is a description of the project from the architects, “Our dream was to create a vertical loft: a house without walls where all three floors are stitched together into one continuous space. The interior of the new house is organized by one oversized closet that connects all floors. It functions as a storage device for the whole house. This piece of XXL-furniture, measuring 10 meters in length and 9 meters in height, replaces the load bearing middle wall of the original house. Its modular system integrates kitchen appliances, bookshelves, wardrobe, and a walk in closet. The introduction of a central void reinforces the presence of the closet. The void enables diagonal views through the house in which the closet is experienced in its full height. It also makes daylight penetrate far into the 14 meter deep house. Two steel stairs in the void make the bookshelves accessible and create a vertical circulation along and through the closet.”
“The extreme makeover of the house is combined with a selective preservation of elements of the old casco. Industrial materials such as the phenol coated multiplex of the closet and the polyurethane flooring are balanced by the longitudinal brick wall that is left bare, the stained glass and the original doors that are restored and re-used. The roughness of the wall, full with traces of the past, tells stories about the continuous makeovers that the house has undergone in the last hundred years.”
God’s Loftstory is a converted church designed by Dutch studio Leijh Kappelhoff Seckel van den Dobbelsteen architecten, situated in the village of Veldhoven,in The Netherlands.
Here is a description of the project from the architects, “The former Dutch Reformed Evangelism Building in Haarlo has been transformed into a unique loft. The starting point for the design were the retained qualities of the 1928 dating monument, the façade, the bell tower with clock, the volume, the iconic location on the outskirts of the village and nice details like the wooden roof construction, the old panel doors and arch windows with stained glass.
This project demonstrates that a transformation of a church with limited resources is possible, when using a smart design and an efficient plan. The concept was; strip, isolate and furnish. The result represents the motto of the owners: “Cherish your inner child; remain pure, playing, exploring and a little bit naughty!”
“It was a conscious choice, not to fill the volume of 1100 m3 completely with as many rooms as possible, but to minimize the demands, in order to retain the spaciousness of the building. The only architectural additions are the mezzanine for the relaxation room and the multifunctional “Stairway to have fun” (stairs, room divider, closet, build-in-kitchen, acoustic element and exhibition wall).”
“This project shows great passion, humor, respect, love and creativity. This is being reflected in the, specially for this project realized, elements like the swing “swinging sister”, the “KROONluchter” (inspired by the original organ), the “gate of heaven” flanked by a wall of guardian angels, the “stairway to have fun”, the “holy shit” on the toilet, birdhouses with lamp for strange birds that have seen the light and the wooden “lost sheep” in the garden.”
“The modern garden has large plastered planters, made by left-over-bricks. There is an herb garden, a vegetable garden, a flower garden and an orchard; a contemporary nod to the old monastery gardens. The outside shed with a porch is a 40ft container, integrated into the wooden fence and equipped with a green roof. By deepening the garden, a private garden is created yet still a view at the church is remained intact.”
“The materials that were used are pure, sober, functional and budgetary; concrete on the floor, the original wooden floorboards off the church as cladding for the “Stairway to have fun”, stainless steel kitchen elements, a hard glass partition to retain openness, white stucco ( for making the space light inside ) and strategically chosen red accents.”
Photos: Vincent van den Hoven
This single family apartment for four people is situated in a stately building in the town of Rooseveltlaan, southern Amsterdam, Netherlands, designed by i29 l interior architects. The original 1,614 square foot (150 square meters) structure, with rooms for staff, a double hall and long hallways with lots of doors has been transformed into a spacious, transparent dwelling full of light and air.
A kitchen in combination with cabinets from floor to ceiling has laser-cut front panels, all spray painted white. This pattern results in a dynamic mixture of open and closed cabinets, the holes also function as integrated handgrips. The transparency of the object’s skin gives depth to the volume which is complimented by furniture like the Grcic chair one. An atrium with open staircases brings natural light from a large roof light into the living area.
Along the open staircase a wall of two stories high is covered with clear pine wood, and connects the two levels. Upstairs the master bedroom is situated next to a large bathroom with a finish of structured tiles from Patricia Urquola, glass, and wooden cabinets.
Photos: Courtesy of i29 l interior architects
The most recent project from ZW6 Interior is the Railway House in Santpoort, The Netherlands. The former Railway House, built in 1867, is almost brutally shot through with a large Cortensteel volume. On two sides an extension is achieved with hard lines and large glass surfaces, which focuses on the surrounding greenery. The small Railway House literally breaks through its ancient walls outside and provides new insight into landscape. The old railway cottage is on the inside almost unchanged.
The remains of numerous alterations have been removed, leaving a pure and characteristic brick cottage. This old section provides security and simultaneously connects all contiguous open spaces of the house. From the middle of the house you will experience long sightlines and a waterfall staircase connecting the various floors. On the east side a volume is added to the entrance and the living room. In the basement you can find the sleeping area with bathroom. By making the extension narrow and elongated an intimate patio is created on the south side, covered with shells.
On the west side the expansion is oriented in the width. This dining room is linked to the kitchen in the old Railway House. In the Railway House exciting reversals between inside and outside arise. The outside of the house is the interior for the dining room and the patio looks mostly an interior space. Old elements and new additions alternate each other surprisingly. Hard materials meet the gentle atmosphere of the old house. In the interior this variety continues.
Design classics combined with found objects, a Persian carpet on the hard untreated concrete, a surfboard next to the dining table and a series of remarkable plants throughout the Railway House. You also can find an extraordinary art collection which gives every space a special and unique atmosphere.
Photos: Cornbread Works