Architects: Wiel Arets Architects
Location: Maastricht, the Netherlands
Design team: Satoru Umehara, Harold Herman, Daniel Meier, Dennis Villanueva, Alex Kunnen, Francois Steul
Project area: 130 sqm
Project year: 2005 – 2010
Photographs: Wiel Arets Architects
Designed for a couple and sited in a hilly suburban area of Maastricht near the Netherlands-Belgium border, the H House was designed for a couple with a strong interest in the arts. The clients formerly occupied a home directly adjacent to the site before appointing Wiel Arets Architects to design what would become their new home, the H House. Individually an actor and a dancer, and dually landscape architects, the owners are able to keep their landscaping skills honed in the formal garden behind the house, which they occasionally open to the public.
The interior of the home is comparable to that of a loft-like space with a central mezzanine. Adjacent to the main volume of the home, are two independent volumes – the entrance and the bathroom, the latter of which is cantilevered over the ground floor. Terraces define the position and shape of the house, each with its own distinct character. The interior of the house has no structural walls and very few rectangular columns support the structural slabs, each positioned to minimize their impact on the interior space. All other walls, whether internal or external, consist of glass in varying shades of opacity.
The stair of the house was conceived as an independent sculptural object within this loft-like setting, producing an air of suspense, while simultaneously providing storage. The range of privacy desired by the owners resulted in a series of curtains that can be drawn to casually define‘interior rooms’on both levels of the house. The combination of transparent and opaque glass, as well as the sliding and fixed portions of the façade, create a number of different possible responses to the changing of seasons and patterns of daylight. The house is suffused with richness due to the layering of unadorned space, the transparencies of the material palette and the countless possibilities of spatial compilations.