Location: The Netherlands
Architect: Loek Stijnen
Design date: 2010
Completion date: 2013
Built area: 400m2
Photographer: Jo Pauwels
Do you consider villas as an independent typology in architecture?
Yes, the villa is traditionally the flagship in the portfolio of many architectural firms.
Do you agree with this statement? “Designing villas is a more appropriate topic for practising and experiencing the intellectual approach of leading architects and architectural offices.”
Why sometimes architects call their villa project, a house?
I can’t judge other architects but for us, it is mostly in combination with the project name, for example, G-house or Villa Spee. Both are villas. If it’s a more urban situated building on a smaller plot we call it a house.
In your opinion, what is the most distinct difference between a house and a villa?
A villa is the name of a luxurious detached house. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the name villa was mostly used for large houses in a landscape environment. The name is derived from the Roman villa. Furthermore, every villa is, of course, a house, but only the top class of houses is a villa.
Which category does your project, Villa-spee, belong to? Urban/rural villa, Permanent villa (residence)/ Temporary villa (leisure)
Villa Spee is a permanent urban-rural villa situated in a residential area.
If Villa Magazine was to throw a worldwide competition for villas, which kind of categorizing do you prefer?
A: Villas below 100 m², 100-250 m², 250-500 m², 500-1000 m² and more
B: Mountain villas, Forest villas, Beach villas, Desert villas, …
What suggestions and criticisms do you have about our work?
Keep up the good work.
Text description provided by the architect:
This villa in the Dutch village of Haelen was built for a couple with a child. It resides on the grounds of an out-dated ninety sixties bungalow. The villa anticipates the family’s love for outdoor living. The box-shaped part of the villa seems to float above the sloping landscape. On both sides, it is fitted with windows that offer a panoramic view. The windows optimise the relationship between the in- and outdoor environment. They make both worlds transparent. The lower terrace is situated at the rear side of the villa and holds a swimming pool and koi pond. The terrace runs into the covered terrace. Both terraces strengthen the relationship between the in- and outdoor living space. The interior was designed in harmony with the villa. It perfectly fits the minimalist aesthetics the clients aspire. The austere and pure design was combined with warm materials. We designed everything and left nothing to chance. Because of this, we can truly say that the villa is like a tailor-made suit that offers optimal comfortable living.
The concept with the twist in the façade arises from the geometry of the building lot as described in the zoning plan. It gives the box-shaped part of the villa an exiting and contemporary outline. Because all living areas inside the villa are situated on the ground floor, we had the opportunity to create a spacious, glass-roofed hall that connects all rooms. The living areas, as well as the master bedroom, are facing the garden. All rooms have access to the comfortable covered terrace. The other bedrooms and the study are facing the deep front garden. The basement houses the garage, storeroom and technical room. The façade facing the street is fully closed. Together with the overhang above the entrance to the garage, the front façade offers a strong presence that is boosted by the floating appearance of the villa.
The building materials are limited to white isolated stucco combined with blank anodized aluminium window frames. At the street side of the villa, the window frames have been fitted with sliding panels made of strips of untreated wood. The skirting is made of fractioned natural stone from the Belgian Ardennes.
The villa is custom-made using traditional building techniques. The project can be built on every spacious lot. The floor is made of isolated prefab concrete, the walls are build using sand-lime bricks. The ceiling/roof is made of steel construction, wooden rafters and isolated plates. All façades consist of isolated stucco that offers a high insulation value. All aluminium window frames contain well-isolated HR++ glass.
Inside, the villa’s finish is sleek with a high degree of minimalism comprising of concrete floors, tempered glass doors. All wall closets have a sturdy dark coloured wood veneer finish. Bulthaup has built the kitchen. The bathrooms and toilets are self-designed using Antonio Lupi materials. Most lights are Deltalight. The villa has a sustainable climate system and is heated and cooled using a heat pump, the ventilation system is equipped with a heat recovery system.