A young family with three children asked us to design a house that would fulfill their dreams: a paradox of a house that is simple yet surprising, open yet specific, minimal yet luxurious.
A house designed for the hectic life of an evolving family; fragmented yet united, plural yet whole.
Set in big clearing in the forested residential area in the center of the Netherlands, the site is both secluded and perfectly oriented towards the sun. The clients insisted on a very high level of sustainability. For this we worked very closely with world renowned sustainability pioneer Thomas Rau. Together, we set out to resolve the apparent contradictions of the clients’ wishes with a sustainable design for a house that is based on a radical differentiation of spatial experiences. Every floor has its own strong identity, creating a broad spatial spectrum within a unified whole. Three clear levels, with three very different characters and functionalities as a basis for family life to emerge.
The ground floor level is for living: a generously open ground floor. A strip of serving rooms containing storage, toilets and stairs, provides easily access to the luxuriously open living spaces. The kitchen and living room are oriented maximally to the sun and view. In close relation to this living area there are two studies flooded with northern light, located on next to the entrance.
The collection of rooms on the first floor provides space for sleeping and privacy. Set in a delicate roof garden, all the bedrooms are like little cabins, crafted in their entirety from dark wood. They work like a small village, providing intimacy and privacy while also creating a large shared common space in between the cabins. Every room is like a world of its own with private views over the wooded landscape.
The curved and spacious basement is for guests, wellness and storage. The excavations allow the pool and the guest rooms to have fully glazed facades and direct access to the garden.
Despite it’s size and it’s extensive use of glass, the design is optimised for low energy usage. Together with Thomas Rau, we designed the house to optimise it’s passive sunshading and incorporate innovative sustainable measures. These include hot and cold-water storage, extensive use of PV cells and a grey water system. The basement contains a dedicated area for the high-end energy saving installations.