Architects: De Bever Architecten
Location: Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Project Team: Stefan de Bever, Heleen van Heel, Jan Smits, Thomas van Weert
Project area: 220 sqm
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Merel van Beukering
On a swallow spot near the river dommel, in downtown Eindhoven, a town villa from 1930 is located, designed by Louis Kooken, founder of the 110 year existing architecture office De Bever Architecten. The interior of one of the dwellings in the villa has now been refurbished by the current architects of the office, Stefan de Bever and Heleen van Heel.
The old town villa is built in brick and contains three dwellings. Standing between the old weeping willows, beeches and a lustrous bank vegitation, they take on a stately character. The villa is connected to the landscape through classical elements such as terraces, bay windows and roof overhangs. These elements articulate the mass of the villa and the different dwellings within. The original interior of the dwellings can be called classically Thirties.
The assignment was to refurbish the classicaly arranged ground floor of the deep middle dwelling into a contemporary, loft-like space for a family with two children. By removing the wall between the living room and the kitchen, new qualities could be introduced while keeping the allready present elements such as window bays and coves. On the back side, the house has been lenghtened with two metres and a skylight has been added.
The different ceiling heights of the original rooms have been accentuated in the new design. The construction of the dwelling has been revealed and a new supporting column has been added. The aluminum folding door on the back side can be opened wholly en connects the living area to the terrace and the garden. The room has a grey floor screed and smooth white stucco walls. Different zones appear that are divided by specific furniture designs.
Besides designing the fixed cabinets and kitchen, Stefan de Bever and Heleen van Heel have also designed three different couches. A white leather couch is part of the kitchen design, turning the kitchen into a place to accompany the chef and drink a cup of coffee, while enjoying the garden. The yellow couch cabinet marks a specific spot in the living space, the play area for the children.
The button pattern has been designed together with design duo Lady Penelope. The pink couches can be loosely arranged in the interior. The different interior elements belong to one design family through their colors and simple details. The elements are user friendly and they provoke playfulness.
The design for the kitchen includes a cabinet wall and a table measuring a broad 4m x 0,9m. Cooking is done on an oversized steel sheet that has been fabricated from one piece. It is fixed to a white steel frame with four legs, and has whitewood cabinets hanging underneath. The cooking table has been placed next to but separate from the colums.
The activities of dwelling have been central in the design process: being together, sitting, playing, cooking, going through the day. The result is a contemporary, open loft-like space that sits relaxed in a monumental villa.