Text description provided by the architects. De Zwarte Hond has designed a new holiday home between the dunes and the beach on Schiermonnikoog, an island off the north coast of the Netherlands. An inviting haven, with a high degree of privacy whilst respecting the valuable landscape.
De Zwarte Hond has been working on holiday home projects on the West Frisian Islands for many years. Existing building traditions are combined and integrated with new concepts. Characteristics ranging from a typical wooden summer house with verandas and thatched roof, to the later brick bungalows with gently-sloping roofs and large expanses of glass, are incorporated in homes that reflect that holiday feeling: optimistic, light and in direct contact with nature. Intimate locations to spend time with friends and family.
Demand for more space has increased over the years as has the desire for more luxury and sustainability. Regulations on the islands, however, stipulate moderation. Height and surface area are restricted to ensure the landscape is not over-exploited.
This ‘Holiday home between dunes and beach’ is also designed within this context: a modest volume openly connected with its surroundings, considerable comfort and a large degree of privacy. Because the home is partially below ground level the residential area is far larger than at first appears.
The three bedrooms, a box bed, two bathrooms and a games room are situated below ground. The living areas are situated above ground: a living room, kitchen, study and dining room, and a veranda that clearly defines the boundary between the dune landscape and the home. These separate entities are at the same time visually interconnected. A layout that ensures sufficient spaces to retreat from a large group, but also a cosy holiday home for two.
The building plays with the height difference in the landscape. The large sun-drenched bedroom – with its green and heavenly view – is located where the dunes drop downwards and is at the same time completely hidden from view. The remaining two bedrooms are on the other side of the building, where the public road runs. These, too, are not visible from a distance but have plenty of daylight due to breaks in the landscape. A large shutter in front of the living room window can be closed in order to create privacy. Skylights resembling turrets protrude from the roof and ensure that the building always has sufficient light.
The façade, comprising finely sawn oak dried in the open air gives the home its unique character and weathering only improves its appearance. The green roof completes the home’s camouflage in the landscape. It is already perceptible how, in a short period of time, the holiday home with its external spaces forms part of the overall dune landscape, as is the case with ‘De Ville Buiten’ designed too by De Zwarte Hond.