Villa in the dunes

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Villa for art-loving couple
This villa in the dunes of Hook of Holland is designed for an art-loving couple. Their wish: a house in a dune landscape. The existing dune landscape has been re-shaped and draped around the villa to make a perfect fit. The new dunes create accesses to the villa from different levels. The bel-etage is organized around a patio and hovers above a hollow on the east side, while on the west side a lazy staircase opens the dunes directly from the living room. The bel-etage sits on top of a heavy concrete basement with the formal entrance from the street. Deep within this bunker, half covered by a dune, is a private residence for guests. The guesthouse has an own front door and facilities. The top level is a modest bedroom with a balcony where the roof cum staircase leads to a private rooftop terrace providing a panorama on the surrounding dune landscape and its bunkers. The sea lures at the horizon.

"The design of the three storey house is built up by a set of routes and spaces. The house is not composed by stacked floors but by a sequence of experiences."

The design of the three storey house is built up by a set of routes and spaces. The house is not composed by stacked floors but by a sequence of experiences. Often a room borders the landscape with surprising exceptions. Two sets of stairs and many accesses to the surrounding garden at different levels make an infinite number of routes possible. The routes take you through rooms with each their own atmosphere.
At many places the view is drawn through other spaces to the outdoors. From the kitchen one’s look is framed by a large window across the patio, through the living room to the panorama of a group of ables in the dunes. Inside an art collection forms anchor points of the route architecturale.

The house is ambigious. It takes a stand in the architectural discourse against the ‘wrap around’ architecture in a single pattern and material. Each facade of the villa has its own composition and materialization with its logic based on the qualities of the adjacent landscape and the use of the spaces inside.
The photograph as a medium fails to bring across the spatial experience. Fortunately, that makes architecture architecture. All spaces in the house have multiple layers of experience and details. Here there is no such thing as ‘minimalism’. Interweaving all the different layers is the pleasure. The house is a bunker, a patio house, a bungalow, a canal house, a Mies and a Loos, House X and Bordeaux. Not as an act of post-modernity, but as archetypical transformations. This may seem high-brow, but it is just the way the house came about.


Villa in the dunes

Hook of Holland, The Netherlands

Luxury home offers access to surrounding dune landscape from various levels

2005 - 2008

Surface Area
500 m2

This is a project of Daan Zandbelt in his time as partner of Zandbelt&vanderBerg.

Christian Richters

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Daan Zandbelt
Daan Zandbelt
Urban planner | Architect | Partner


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