House Vvg / Grosfeld van der Velde Architecten

© Michel Kievits

Architects: Grosfeld van der Velde Architecten
Location: Vianen,
Client: Private
Project Year: 2004-2007
Photographs: Michel Kievits

courtesy of Grosfeld van der Velde Architecten

The house is situated on the edge of Vianen, a city in the centre of Holland. The view on the southwest side is magnificent and will remain unbuilt. The beautiful view is that of a typical Dutch landscape of open fields with lines of trees.

© Michel Kievits

As a limiting condition for this site the city prescribed a gutter height of 4 meter and a country style of building.

Form and material remind traditional ways of building in the Dutch countryside, although the house has a distinct character as opposed to the prefabricated country-style of the other houses in the street.

© Michel Kievits

The house is designed from the inside out, as a series of connected spaces. Within the whole each space has its own character and its own relation with the landscape.

Cite: "House Vvg / Grosfeld van der Velde Architecten" 01 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
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  • xavier

    my lord i am gob smacked with planning laws in that country… i am sorry for the neighbours who had their properties devalued by such monstrosity!

    • hbchbc

      You might get that impression at the first glance, but after a careful look, it is really not that bad. They got bricks as exterior materials and also sloping roofs. In terms of form, if they build something similar to the houses next door, it will be no fun, right?

    • dan

      I’m with xavier. If this design were among more unconventional designs in a way that they respond to each other, I would be impressed. But this singular design among cookie cutter brick houses is very awkward.

      Despite that, it does have good interior spaces and views.

      • cocobolo

        well someone has to make the first step right ;)

    • Lasse

      My grandmother would probably agree with you – but I doubt ANY educated architect would prefer the endless masses of newly build COPY PASTE CLASSIC STYLE PASTICHE MINI MC MANSIONS over inspired individual contextsbased ARCHITECTURE!

      This must make you drool then:

      • dan

        built context is part of context.

      • eili

        totally agree with you -there´s nothing worse than these
        vanilla neighborhoods where every house is copy-pasted.
        how can people be so afraid of trying something different?
        i think its a lack of style, ideas and cojones.
        i live close to the netherlands and when i´m around i´m always
        happy to see that their architecture often is much more adventurous than e.g. in germany, where i live..
        so, why beeing afraid of the neighbor´s judgement?
        life´s short, guys…

  • up_today_arch

    But… It is cool! It is realy fresh house for it’s surrounding. Roof is traditional, but look of house is contemporary and actual.

  • oded

    great job!!!!

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  • Martin

    Its excellent, love the entries of light.

  • christopher

    i agree with whats been said. internally the spaces are quite inspiring. but externally, its a disaster.

  • Ray

    It’s quite different with the surrounding houses, but the spirit is quite the same…,agree with hbchbc.

    • dan

      When it comes to form, I see it working in the same spirit-yet differently, but the materiality amplifies that contrast to the extent that it doesn’t really belong. You can say all day that the exterior is brick, but it still reads as a completely different material from the brick of surrounding houses. If all else stayed the same, but the materials integrated more with the surrounding fabric rather than violently opposing them, I would really like this design.

  • dan

    I can see it having the same spirit as surrounding houses and a form which responds refreshingly to similar conditions, but the materiality amplifies this house’s contrast with it’s surroundings so much that it no longer feels like it belongs. You can say all day that the exterior is made of brick like surrounding houses, but at first glance and careful examination it reads as a completely different material. If this exterior featured materials that engaged the neighborhood fabric instead of violently opposing it, I would really like this design.

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  • N!CK

    So Xavier, do you want the same fake-houses between the two ‘traditional’ houses? Or at least the same form and same materials…?
    I am so jalous of that planning laws, viva Netherlands.
    I think it actually fits well

  • xavier

    N?ck… the point here is not to be different for the sake of being different. For me personally, the project does not fit in or attempt to be contextual. The modern design looks more like a mockery of modern from the outside and, in the same way as you are critical of the fake? style, i have to say that it looks more like a garage and would not be out of place in some industrial estate – i have to agree that the interiors work better and the disproportionate windows/doors do creates a very nice lighting mood inside. i would rather hope this leniency from the planners will encourage some mickey mouse streetscape.

  • Bert

    the modern house is allright, more then, inside and outside. The question is why do people still build imitation – these kind of houses were build in the early 20th century – houses from a catalogue.

    • peter .f

      This is the bigger question …. why do people crave for the latest in technology phones computers TV etc yet want to live in fake copies of some by gone era and worst still in some places copies from other cultures! I do not get it , as for this project I quite like it and I suspect that the architects were in some ways controlled in what and how they presented the exterior.

      • Mathew

        People may like these houses because they probably lived in one growing up and is what makes them comfortable… Buying a cell phone or computer is nothing like buying a house.

      • Dan

        A house should impart a sense of comfort, belonging, “home-ness”. It is much easier, cheaper, and safer to use nostalgia and styles that have worked in the past and that are well developed within a builder’s repertoire. These buildings are also well suited to endure code and environmental stresses. We’ve all seen the homogenous cookie cutter subdivisions resulting from this decision. Thus, I respect this firm’s intention to move in a new direction. I just wish the result didn’t show so much resentment for its built context.

  • xavier

    Bert… the majority of housing stock is repetitive and to some extent ‘old-fashioned’ because majority of owners understand this kind of architecture – they know what they like. They understand the materials and proportions and these buildings still fulfils a basic function of providing shelter. We still design and wear clothes very similar in way as someone in the 19th century – yes fashions have come and gone but your trousers still have two legs… the point here is that these ‘faux styles’ fulfil a commercial demand. i respect this architects work and like a lot of their work, but simply question their contextual perception.

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  • Malgorzata

    The house is modern and nice and it looks beautiful with these old-looking houses around.

  • pipe

    ‘designed from the inside out’

    isn’t this the issue with the project? it’s hard to deny that the exterior relationship to its context is overtly jarring, and it seems that this is an unintentional byproduct of the design process itself. more rigour is necessary with regard to the exterior: the result is just an arrogant and egotistical expression by client and architect alike, hardly good architecture…

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  • bluevertical

    House Vvg by Grosfeld van der Velde Architecten #architecture #interiordesign #minimalism *nice suburban design

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  • António

    Breaking up with the past is ok!
    New forms? that’s ok, too!
    I’m in favour of that!
    But what about the people? what about the culture that brought us where we stand nowadays?
    You can’t neglet those things as you can’t ignore the surroundings, the context and the memory.
    A project has to be coherent; it’s like a chain or a piece of a simphony – if something fails, is a complete disaster.
    The contrast between old and new is too strong – you could easily solve this problem by using a similar material to the the Houses on the sides or place your project away from other buildings, in the middle of the forest.
    The inner layout is good.