Villa Berkel / Paul de Ruiter

Architect: Paul de Ruiter
Location: Veenendaal, Netherlands
Project Architect:
Project Team: Sander van Veen, Helga Traksel
Advisor Construction: Van Kessel & Janssen bv
Contractor: Bouwbedrijf Valleibouw
Site Area: 1,232 sqm
Constructed Area: 277 sqm
Project Year: 2003-2004
Construction year: 2004-2005
Photographs: Pieter Kers

Villa Berkel in Veenendaal (Netherlands) is built on a site formerly occupied by a bungalow dating from the nineteen seventies. The owners wanted to remodel the bungalow, but decided on the advice of Paul de Ruiter to demolish the bungalow and make room for a completely new design.


The woods around the villa are dark, which means it is important to ensure that as much light can enter the house as possible. However, the more glass is used in a building, the more difficult it is to maintain the dividing line between inside and outside, private and public. Therefore the building plot is divided into three long strips at right angles to the road. The bottom and southernmost strip is reserved for the garden, the middle strip contains the villa itself and the most northern strip offers access to the house: this is where the drive, parking space and the entrance are located. This layout of the site means that those parts of the house that the residents prefer to keep private are out of sight.

ground floor plan


The layout of the site is repeated in the floor plan of the house. This is also divided into three strips over the 30-metre length of the villa. To ensure both openness and liveability, the floor plan is split. The eastern section, at the street side, contains the more ‘public’ functions: the entrance, study, kitchen and living; while the western section, furthest removed from the street, is reserved for the more intimate activities: a corridor that acts as TV lounge, the bedrooms and the bathroom. This means that the character of the functions gradually becomes more intimate. Each function has its own zone within the house, which can be cut off by means of translucent sliding walls.


To create openness and lightness and tot give the residents the feeling living outside in the green, the house is entirely oriented to the secluded garden at the south. Every room in the villa looks directly out on to this garden, because three of the four façades are made of glass.

The spacious wooden terrace forms a room outdoors, partly covered by a wooden awning supported by steel brackets that taper upwards. This gives it the appearance of floating above the ground. Ponds have been laid on both sides of the villa, so that the house here, too, appears to be raised above ground level, emphasising the lightness of the building.

Cite: "Villa Berkel / Paul de Ruiter" 26 Feb 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow, this home is amazing! There is such a sense of tranquility, even in the photos. Everything seems so balanced! Perfect. I wish it was mine. :D

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    I like the kitchen and the axis from the entrance to there.This volume that configures the pantry at the acces and then the stair to end in the kitchen is very well resolved.

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    The exterior bathtub scares the hell out of me! What if those joints fail and the cap smashes on the heads of people inside, leaving them unconscious and they drown? what if a serial-killer sneaks behind it and close it while you’re there?… never mind… it’s cool. Maybe I’m just watching too many movies :)

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    But I think the restroom is not enough for people living in the house? There are only two,one in the main bedroom(which may not allow guest to use for privacy),and the other is in the maintrance(which is bot conienvent for people in the livingroom to use cause it is too far)

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    This residence is beautiful, loved it. Wish we could have such bathrms.

    Just a doubt, The house being raised by half a foot like that , though it looks beatiful, a floating effect, doesn’t it provide a hide out for small creepy crawlies of the forest.

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    Felicidades, me ha gustado mucho la simplicidad de las lineas, y la decoración. Especialmente la integración de la vivienda con el entorno. El jardín se integra a la casa. El aprovechamiento de la luz natural. Fantastica!!!!

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