Villa Meijendel by VVKH Architecten
Villa Meijendel is a project by the Dutch firm – VVKH Architecten. It is located in a unique site in the Meijendel nature reserve in Doornweg, The Netherlands where a dense forest gives way to a dune valley.
The villa’s main design feature is to mirror the particular nature that is in and around the site. It represents the varied and rugged character through form and material which is activated by the changing patterns of natural light filtered through the tall trees.
From the architects: “Villa Meijendel takes its name from the nature reserve in which it is located, where a forest meets a valley of dunes. The house is constructed from concrete and set into the side of a sandy slope. The building’s design aims to create a dialogue with its surroundings, both through the way the form and materials engage with the landscape, and through the use of glass to provide views out from and into the house.
The boxy geometric structure is entirely clad in charred timber, creating a textured black surface that appears different depending on how sunlight falls on it. The exterior finish, inspired by the ancient Japanese shou sugi ban technique, also helps to preserve the wood.”
“Sometimes the house is almost invisible against the dark edge of the forest, sometimes it sparkles in the sunlight because of the glittering charred wood, as such forming a background for the play of shadows of tree trunks and branches. The villa hides and reveals itself in the landscape.
The property has its entrance on a middle level accommodating an office and two bedrooms. Stairs ascend to an open-plan kitchen and living space, and drop down to a master bedroom and gym room.”
“The living room features a full-height corner window that looks out through the trees towards the dune valley. A lower window facing to the rear and a large glazed surface lining the adjacent double-height circulation area face out onto the forest. At the far end of the first floor, sliding glass doors lead out from the kitchen onto a terrace.
The material palette –concrete, steel and anodised aluminium– was chosen to complement the tones and textures of the surrounding environment. Each material is applied in a raw, untreated form. Internally, the walls are finished with smooth concrete, while the rough-sawn Douglas fir beams supporting the ceilings feature a distinctive grain.”