LocationUitdam, The Netherlands
Structural engineerJaap Dijks, Pieters Bouwtechniek Utrecht
ContractorChristian Dörschug, Aichach (houtmontage) i.s.m. Jan Runderkamp Totaalbouw Volendam
Text description provided by the architects. Uitdam is a small, picturesque village at the banks of the IJsselmeer. The clients found a small house to be demolished, next to the church and the dyke, just big enough for a new dwelling for two. Shape, materials, dimensions and the slope of the roof were almost fixed from the beginning.
The spatial rules in the area are very strict, as the inhabitants of the region, the municipality and the tourists wish to protect the fragile, historically grown cultural landscape with its present consistency and small-scale beauty.The new house fits almost unnoticeably into its existing neighbourhood; the dark colour of the façade, the traditional roof tiles and the sparkling white of both the edges of the roof and the window frames underline the familiarity with the traditional architecture of the area.
By using solid timber panels as basic material for walls and floors, the house gets a special and contemporary atmosphere. The clients chose the most refined smooth surface the manufacturer of the panels can deliver. Subsequently the panels were painted using a transparent white varnish, resulting in a slightly shiny timber surface, both rather abstract and still full of character due to the natural pattern of the timber that is kept visible.
The monumental tree in the backyard of the house played an important role for the design. The bedroom at the rear of the ground floor doesn’t follow the orthogonal structure of the rest of the plan to give space to the roots of the tree. At the same time the wide angle of the space makes sure that the terrace between dyke and house feels spacious and informal yet protected. From the first floor one overlooks both the pretty landscape and the water of the Ijsselmeer.
The clients, after moving in:
‘In the car back after our very first meeting with the architect discussing his first sketches we looked at each other, rather surprised. ‘There is not much to complain about, is there?’. Rien Korteknie had managed to answer all questions we had posed to him with our brief. From that moment on we actually only discussed details, and that we did a lot and very often.
We are impressed by the serious, unselfish attention we got from the beginning up to the very end of the process, whether we discussed design-issues or boring technical calculations. The meetings we had were always calm and adequate. Whenever necessary we organised meetings on site, and in between we made hundreds of phone-calls and sent each other just as many emails.
The result fits us like a glove. We asked for a modern but unpretentious timber house, spacious, light and with high, airy rooms. The house is cheerful and comforting; it fits to the village and the surrounding and offers optimal views to the outside and long vistas in the interior. Monumental without being over the top. Full of invisible sustainable installations and very well insulated. With cleverly accommodated high ceilings inside despite the obligatory height of 2,5 m for the gutter outside. We got exactly what we had in mind, and a lot more’