hide-out

Our clients are living in a small house with a wooden shed in a village on a rather large plot: an old vegetable garden. They asked us to design their new home as a villa for a couple with two kids, in the back part of their plot, behind the shed.

Assignment: one villa in the back of a plot
Client: confidential
Design: Monolab
Team: J.W. van Kuilenburg, L. Veeger, W. Hoogerwerf with H. Heckwolf, D. Nieuwstad, S. Prouille, R. Salazar, H. Schurk
Site: confidential

Villa XXX By MONOLAB architects - Sheet6
©MONOLAB architects

Their former house would be kept and rented out or sold, while they would move into the villa. The municipality of Loenen however only gives building permits for new facilities if these would be not visible from the adjacent road.

Our design tilts a slab of soil and grass around the shed and inserts a concrete structure into the gap. The concrete structural elements are minimal and consist of just an elevated floor, a tilted deck and two slanted columns that allow the program and family to nestle.

Villa XXX By MONOLAB architects - Sheet7
©MONOLAB architects

The design has an inserted elevated floor, like a raft, that extends out by a small terrace over the garden. It has a pit, a shallow excavation, that contains the children’s rooms surrounded by flexible, sliding glass partitions. When the children would be grown up and start living elsewhere, the pit could become a study, a second living or a master bedroom.

Villa XXX By MONOLAB architects - Sheet8
©MONOLAB architects

To free the villa from programmatic debris and keep it as a transparent void, we rebuilt the old wooden shed as a black, mysterious core and positioned it in the centre of the layout. The core acts like the Kaaba, with the inhabitants revolving around. It assembles many programs, including a wardrobe, bathroom, kitchen, study, toilet, master bedroom, stairs, storage, and services. It perforates the slab and serves the two worlds on the grass deck and in the garden. Seams in its surface that light up tell us which parts are operational.

©MONOLAB architects

To avoid the gap becoming cave-like, the facades are completely glazed. Facades are positioned in three ways: set- back at the entrance, in-line at the end and slanted at the main garden side, where it reflects the leaves of the trees and the sky, making the design stealth-like. The slanted side can be climbed, over glass boulders that are glued on the laminated glass sheets.

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