The villa is built on the border of village and landscape, surrounded by nature between forest and heath. Many trees have remained on the plot and in the immediate vicinity, so the woody character has been preserved. The residents want to allow the surrounding landscape to extend to the house. Between the pine trees, there will be a planting of heather and low berry bushes and a winding sandy path. The experience of nature is thus even more direct.
Private house Utrecht region
Private house Utrecht region
In a wooded area on the outskirts of Zeist is a brand new sleek villa. A special feature of this house is that it is made of clean concrete both inside and outside. Spacious windows and sheltered terraces create an intense relationship between house and environment. The modest design is by Peter Keijsers, an architect at Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten.
Robust villa between forest and heath
The house has two floors, the lower half sunk into the ground. Architect Peter Keijsers explains why: “The building has a considerable volume, and by constructing a large part underground, it looks less voluminous. The experience of the surrounding nature is also more special from both levels.” The raised floor has terraces on three sides. On the south and west side of the house, large overhangs shelter the terraces and spacious windows. Due to its elevated position, the residents have a beautiful view of the forest and heath from the living areas and the terraces. The large fronts and sliding doors enhance the experience of the surrounding nature. The spacious living room at the back of the house has glass fronts on two sides. Further forward, the spaces become more closed and salvaged.
That narrow window is the end of a long line of sight that runs the length of the villa. The kitchen is the central point in the house, near the entrance and the stairs down and between the living room and chill area. On one side, this space has large glass fronts to the terrace.
Reynaers' aluminum panoramic doors (CS77) are tightly detailed. Keijsers: “The profiles disappear as much as possible into walls and floors. The intermediate styles have been minimized to interrupt the panorama as little as possible. As a result, space seems to run freely from the inside to the outside. ” The aluminum louvers can provide privacy as desired. Alconstrux Aluminum has composed and installed the frames. As a finish, the architect opted for structured lacquer in quartz gray: “This color matches the trees around the house beautifully. The sand structure matches the roughness of the concrete. ” The refined and sleek detailing of frames and louvres form a beautiful contrast with the robust concrete.
The concrete inner and outer shells of the house were poured on-site. This required careful detailing and intensive coordination with the constructor and contractor. Plate seams and cone holes are precisely determined and coordinated with the formwork contractor. The inner and outer cavity leaves were simultaneously poured into formwork walls in which the insulation was incorporated in the middle. The irregularities in the concrete, together with the dilations, formwork panel seams, and cone holes, provide detail and texture in the façades.
The living level and terrace are accessed by a concrete runner from the street that turns into a lazy outside staircase. A low window that runs around the corner next to the concrete carpet offers a view through the large office space in the basement. At the top of the stairs is the front door, flanked by a large frosted glass window. Both are protected by a thin steel canopy. A second staircase leads down to the entrance of the office.
About half of the basement consists of office space; the other half contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms. From the bedrooms, strip windows offer a special experience of nature, just above ground level. This way, you can come face to face with scurrying birds and squirrels. The office consists of a warehouse, a pantry, a meeting room, and a large open space with an adjoining sunken terrace. The large space is suitable for workshops or group meetings. The terrace with concrete grandstand stairs can also be used. The connection with nature, the modest design language, and the use of materials provide a distinct character and a special living and working experience.