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  6. 2010
  7. Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas

Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas

  • 01:00 - 20 October, 2010
Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas
Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas, © Kees Hageman
© Kees Hageman

© Kees Hageman © Kees Hageman © Kees Hageman © Kees Hageman +17

From the architect. This project is a private assignment for an entrepreneur from the city center, and the question was posed, how could the family find peace on the edge of that same city. The site located where the city and open planes meet, and therefore has an obvious recognition that cannot be ignored.

In the earlier times people here used to work with shapes for houses that were pure and plain, haystacks were used as a cover for the roofs and the walls where made out of stones and a clay plaster.

© Kees Hageman
© Kees Hageman

The architect was challenged to fuse together traditional ideals with a contemporary house design, a cubistic shape placed in a desolate landscape, where all urban feeling is gone when you look at the surroundings.

Contemporary rural living was chosen as a project to mix the two in pure form.

New Dutch Design

When working with pure forms it’s also important to look at simplicity, durability and expression.

The mix of two very different but recognizable materials in the Dutch landscape results in a both a modern and traditional structure. The fine texture of the haystacks in combination with the smooth white plaster surfaces a house is formed that is very modern and traditional at the same time. The compactness of the haystacks gives optimal protection against the elements.

© Kees Hageman
© Kees Hageman

The interior successfully combines natural materials creating something unique. By designing a natural interior certain tranquility arises throughout each room and now there is also room left for the residents to restyle their space continuously.

One of the priorities while designing this house was to provide the residents with a magnificent view of the scenic landscape. This was successfully done within each room in the house. Daylight falls deep into the house and lights up the space within and gives it a dynamic character during the day, while by night the house radiates its light to its surroundings and thereby marking its position in the landscape.

© Kees Hageman
© Kees Hageman


Via the slope residents can park their car in the basement, where there are also two extra storage rooms and an entrance to go up by stairs and enter the main living space with a beautiful open kitchen where all the modern comforts are integrated in.

When walking through this open space towards the large transparent slide doors, you immediately get pulled to go into the garden. Here you can sit and relax or walk on the plateau to oversee the whole landscape.

© Kees Hageman
© Kees Hageman

The main entrance is surprisingly spacious and with its transparent separation with the kitchen a lot of light is coming in. Here you can enter the scullery, toilet, wardrobe or walk straight up the stairs to the second level.

On this level you can go to the main bedroom, the second bathroom and three other bedrooms. In the master bedroom the residents can choose to go and have a spacious shower or to go and take a bath before or after going to bed. When sitting in bath or lying in bed, you still have a great open view at the landscape.

Cite: "Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas" 20 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


abalo · July 06, 2013

Terrible ground floor distribution: how can you enter the main living area through the kitchen? Also, the second floor plan could be more rational. Not worth that great attention as it is only ecology, not architecture.

p.s. the interiors reminds me the Overlook Hotel.

earth inc. · June 26, 2012

Love this modern take on a #Thatched roof home in the #Netherlands by Architect Arjen Reas

cristian · June 04, 2012

Paie, paie, paie!...

Suiteurbana · April 13, 2012

Viviendo en el limite @Umano_Estudio

Centor4 · October 27, 2011

la superbe maison de mon ami l&#39 Architecte Arjen Reas :-)

CTRLZ architectures · January 02, 2011

Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas | ArchDaily via @archdaily

CurvyCorners · December 24, 2010

Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas | ArchDaily via @archdaily

CurvyCorners · December 24, 2010

@bklyndesignco @mocoloco Great project

Teja · December 05, 2010

straw wrapped dutch villa via @archdaily · November 24, 2010
albi · November 11, 2010

what kind of maintenance the reed or haystacks need? Does the rain consume it? How much does it cost? Thanks, very interesting project, really nice and integrated.

Arjen Reas · November 22, 2010 04:55 PM

Thanx for your kind words Albi.
No, the rain has no influence in the quality of the thatch. When put on in a correct way, this material can last more then 20 years, even longer with correct maintenance when needed.
The costs are a bit higher than contemperary materials, I think about 1,2 to 1,5 times higher. But this is off cours due to a lot off handwork.

Marco van Reeuwijk · November 06, 2010

A nice combination of modern and traditional. I live close to this house in the small neighbor village Benthuizen and pass the street at least twice a day.
It took a wile to build and finish the house, but the final result deserves a big applause.

By the way, it's build in Zoetermeer (not Zoermeer, as mentioned on this website).

Arjen Reas · October 27, 2010

Thank you very much,

Although I love the work of Venturi, I did not use it as an comparison.
On our website ,, you see a few more photos taken in the construction proces. The thatch (or hay) is screwed on the insulation with thin wiring. A method where there is no airpocket between the thatch and the insulation, what minimizes a firespread.

sullka · October 26, 2010

Pretty good project.

I wonder if the architect was influenced by an early Robert Venturi, both the main elevation picture and the floor plan layout is in line with Venturi's Vanna House ideas (at least that's my impression).

Does someone know how is the hay holding together?, what's the building process?

Beautiful project!

cortebrezo · October 23, 2010

Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas

Laura Machado · October 22, 2010

This house has a cool feel to it. :) via @archdaily

Angela Carr · October 22, 2010

Interesting house in the Netherlands with a straw bail cladding on the walls and roof - what do you think? Would...

Aston Roberts · October 21, 2010

RT @archdaily: Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas #architecture

fyer · October 21, 2010 Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas

silentbee · October 21, 2010

Really nice! I've often wondered about thatching walls / etc in a contemporary way. Trust the Dutch to get it right :)

munter roe · October 21, 2010

Bang tidy.

gbh · October 21, 2010

Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas: © Kees HagemanArchitects: Arjen Reas Location: Zoermeer, The Netherlands Project ...

Barry Maguire · October 20, 2010

Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas via ArchDaily - © Kees Hageman Architects: Arjen Reas Location: ...

Martijn van Voorden · October 20, 2010

nice work,

contemporary craftsmanship.
i love the way you blend tradition with modern architecture, without losing the feeling of the home.

grtz Martijn

Polly Sjobon · October 20, 2010

Linda Linda! Senti Vanna Venturi no ar? #prontofalei RT @ArchDaily: Living on the Edge / Arjen Reas #architecture

Arjen Reas · October 20, 2010

Hey hello,

The material is called reed, and its a type of tall stiff grass-like plant, growing together in groups near water.
This is a traditional roofingmaterial in Holland and a few other europian country's, but now used in another way.


Ross · October 20, 2010


jonas · October 20, 2010


blackstone · October 20, 2010

What is the exterior cladding material?


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