Location: Wierumerschouw, The Netherlands
Photographs: Rob de Jong
The Dike House lies on a beautiful rural parcel by the Reitdiep water. It is a country house that harmonizes with its surroundings in several ways, and is characterized by various features: it is a house on the old dike, with a barn and a modern living area.
On the public side, the parcel is screened off by a hedge, and the building appears to be no more than a barn with a jerkinhead that thus fits in neatly with the agrarian buildings in the environment. This closed front protects the house, guaranteeing privacy.
On the north side, the house much more resembles a typical dike house with a chimney on the ridge. The north side also accommodates the entrance to the house.
On the south/west side, the house opens up to display a more personal character. The interior flows into the exterior via the open façade, and the apple trees that stand on the waterfront create a second façade. The outdoor patio of red cobblestones extends inward to form the floor of the kitchen and the hall.
The white volume of the Dike House makes it a point of orientation in the landscape. As a consequence, Wierumerschouw is visible from afar. The combination of white stone with painted wooden elements embeds the house nicely in the rural surroundings. Because the materials mutually correspond in terms of colour scheme, the house becomes an abstract volume. The location is specific but also contemporary, familiar yet extraordinary.