A young family with three children wants a house that will fulfill their dreams: a paradox of a house that is simple yet surprising, open yet specific, minimal yet luxurious.
Powerhouse Company, responsible for the design, resolved these paradoxes with a design for a house based on a radical differentiation of spatial experiences on three floors (one subterranean), the maximum buildable envelope on this site. Three clear levels, with three very different characters and functionalities as a container for family life to emerge.
One level is for living: the generously open ground floor. A strip of serving rooms (storage, toilets, stairs, etc.) provides an easily accessible infrastructure for the luxuriously open living spaces (kitchen and living room) that are oriented maximally to the sun and view. In close relation to this living area there are two studies located on the north side next to the entrance.
One level is for sleeping and privacy: the collection of rooms on the first floor. Set in a delicate roof garden, all the bedrooms are autonomous volumes crafted in their entirety from a very dark wood. They work like a village of cabins, providing intimacy and privacy. Every room is like a world of its own with private views over the roof garden and the garden.
One level is for guests, storage, and wellness: the curved basement. Thanks to excavations, the pool and the guest rooms have fully glazed facades and direct access to the gardens.
A house designed for the hectic life of an evolving family—united yet fragmented, plural yet whole.
Near Utrecht, The Netherlands
Architect: Powerhouse Company
Partner in charge: Nanne de Ru
Design: Nanne de Ru, Charles Bessard
Project leader: Stijn Kemper
Team: Ard-Jan Lootens, Bjørn Andreassen, Marc van Bemmel
Interior design: Bart Vos – VOS Interieur
Structural engineering: Gilbert van der Lee – BREED Integrated Design
Landscape design: Sander Lap – LapLab
Project management: Stef Pierik – Pierik Projecten Groep
Contractor: Coen Hagedoorn Bouwgoep
Contractor Interior: Rhijnlandsche
Contractor Installations: Unica
Surface area: 1300 m2
Time span: 2008 – 2012
Photography: Christian van der Kooy