Villa Vriezenveen by Zecc Architects

April 20, 2009

Zecc Architects designed this house in Vriezenveen, The Netherlands.

This remarkable residential property is a prime example of how the Dutch landscape is being transformed. Historic farmhouses are making way for new, artificial ones or abstract dwellings. The land itself is increasingly being used for recreational purposes rather than for agriculture. Where, in the past, houses were screened from their surroundings, a good view is now regarded as an attractive feature of any house.

The dark silhouettes of the historic farmhouses provided the most important source of inspiration for the statuesque house in Vriezenveen. The linear layout of the plots also influenced the design of the house. As in the big farmhouses of old, family life centres on the dining table in the large living room/kitchen.

Visit the website of Zecc Architects – here.

The open landscape either side of an ancient country lane between Vriezenveen and Almelo forms the backdrop to this house. Like the historic farmhouses along Weitemansweg, the house has a linear layout. The contours of the sections, which are linked one behind the other, come together to form a unified, statuesque whole. The house is lengthened by the formation of the upper floor in two separate elements that are offset towards the front and rear ends. This produces a silhouette of apparently separate sections that stands out in the surrounding area. In addition, this formation leads to the creation of the requested covered terrace at the rear and a carport at the front.

This house follows the linear structure of the landscape. The black zinc of the outer walls is applied in long, horizontal strips with folded seams. Due to the sheen and somewhat uneven finish of the material, the house reacts in a subtle way to the colours of the Dutch sky. Thanks to the dark, subdued colour, the house blends in with the landscape more than the big farmhouses with their orange roofs.

The rooms of the house, with their large windows, are oriented towards the surrounding area. Each room has a strong focus on one of the points of the compass. Only the kitchen has a multiple orientation and functions as the central hub of the house. All the rooms are accessible from this central space, some of them via open staircases. The main load bearing structure consists of three steel portals supporting two laminated beams, each 1 metre high and 27 metres long! In combination with walls of a wooden skeleton structure, this allowed overhangs in multiple directions to be created.