Given the current economic climate, owners of country estates in the Netherlands are looking for new ways to sustain themselves. Forests cost money and agriculture is under pressure, yet it is necessary for owners to find new economic support for their country estates. The 800ha ‘Groote Scheere’ country estate in the north east of the Netherlands is one such example. Bureau B+B was commissioned by the former Fortis Vastgoed Landelijk (now known as ASR Vastgoed) to create a vision and structure quality plan for nine open-plan houses, plus one pilot house, varying from 375 m3 - 1000 m3, without a delineated/private garden on the country estate. The “Groote Scheere” country estate is located at the border of Drenthe and the Overijssel in the Netherlands. In this location, there has always been a coherence between the buildings and nature and it is known for its farm land, village atmosphere and diverse landscape characteristics. Unlike other housing estates across the world where development can tend to be ‘cookie-cutter’, the Grote Scheere is unique in that each house is individual and responds specifically to the site conditions. And although each house is unique, they have similar characteristics which form a coherent ‘family’, thereby strengthening the recognition of the site. The Grote Scheere distinguishes itself from other country estates by its simple and modest buildings and was designed through linking the locations of the dwellings, to transitions in the landscape. The first dwelling, the pilot named ‘The Entrance House’’ was completed in June 2009.
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