Text description provided by the architects. When older houses are preserved, it is often because of their recyclability. They have high ceilings, daylight, large rooms, and wide doors. But there is one more important reason why we don’t demolish them. We love them, because their architecture is good and because they are made of beautiful materials. Preserve your house, or make a new one with a high long term value, and you make your house more environmentally friendly.
The clients, a married couple in their fifties whose children have left home, felt initially that their Villa on the newly acquired dream site in Rijssen should be 350 m2. Nevertheless, after the initial design brainstorm, their first decision was to halve the desired size of the house. With a compact set-up, priority could be given to good materials and energy-saving solutions over the number of square metres.
Designed to face its beautiful view, Villa SR simply and naturally captures the landscape as a large picture frame. It does so, not only for its residents but also for passers-by, connecting the surrounding landscape with the neighborhood.
The overhang provides a shaded summer terrace over the full width of the house. A second terrace in the patio behind the brick façade is ideal for breakfast in the morning hours. The lee of the carport forms an ideal additional evening patio. A sliding door makes it possible to close the space off from the streets, while providing shelter from the wind.
By involving the construction engineer already on a very early stage, the design team managed to guarantee maximum transparency towards the landscape. Solely three 100 mm walls and three 60 mm diameter chrome columns support the concrete roof. Offering an open floor plan, wide doors, and maximum daylight the buildings flexibility is optimized.
Asking the brick supplier to add yellow clay and to fire the bricks very close to the fire, we were able to create a richness of colors and occasional glazed effects, offering a new interpretation of a local product.
Encouraged by the design, father and son – both experienced carpenters – built the villa themselves. Personally involved they were committed to very accurate execution while inspiring the collaborators to improve their performance further.
Sustainable Aspects of the Work
Energetically, by combining the compact set-up with high-quality thermal insulation, including a green roof, a heat pump, a low-temperature floor heating system, a cooling ceiling, and solar panels, energy consumption is minimized. At the same time, opting for well- designed solutions made a design optimization possible to such extent that hardly any waste was produced during the construction process.
Socioculturally, the Villa’s connection with the landscape, both in the organization as in materialization, has already proven to play an exemplary role for similar locations. Offering a view on the landscape, the form of the Villa adds quality to the public space of its surrounding neighborhood. Cooperatively designed and built by the clients, their intensified engagement ensured that the details became high quality and were built very precisely.
Economically, the project’s long-term cost-scope design strategy leads Villa SR to be an inspiring example of sustainable architecture, also in terms of feasibility.
Originally published on June 29, 2015.