Project: Dutch Mountain
Surface area: 709 m2 BVO / GFA
Start design: 5/ 2008
Start Construction: 6/2010
End Construction: 11/ 2011
Architect: denieuwegeneratie architecten | Sanne Oomen, Thomas Dieben, Oscar Vos
Contractor: De Kamper
Installations: Van Veldhuizen Energie, Sloof Elektrotechniek
Structural Engineer: van Rossum Amsterdam
Interior: 13 Speciaal
Lighting (LED): Erco
Chromatic Advice: Asmir Ademagicâ¨
Photography: Jaap Vliegenthart | John Lewis Marshall
Denieuwegeneratie translation = bright, young & talented. The design office founded in 2008, is based in Amsterdam and consists of 3 founders (Sanne Oomen, Oscar Vos & Thomas Dieben), who have the absolute translation. They characterise themselves as neo-idealists, who are constantly searching for strategies in sustainable design and the transformation of existing, structural flexibility, design modularity and temporal design. We came across them through one of their latest creations which, the Dutch Mountain.
Completed in December 2011 this private residence excites, inspires and fits right in with the friendly eco system. With only half of the house apparent to the naked eye there is nothing like cutting through a hill with glazing to bring a tear to the eye. A note to those out there, this never fails to grab our attention. The embedding in the hill simultaneously functions as both a camouflage and as a blanket, hiding the house from view from the north side and using the earth as thermal insulation. One enters the house literally through the mountain, sided with panels of slowly corroding scrap steel. The grand glass facade is framed in timber, which guides the transition from the artificial to the natural. The canopy regulates sunshine through the seasons and allows for a large terrace along the full width of the house. The terrace follows the split-level of the ground floor and jumps up to the higher west façade creating a henhouse underneath. Finally, it curls back up to become the canopy. The frame is constructed out of lark wood, forested from the immediate surroundings.
The relation of the outside inside is a strong one and of great importance to the sense of continuity. The detailing creates a seamless transition between the interior and the exterior where the concrete floor, window frames and terrace finishing all provide a sense of continuity. Inside, the internal space of 228sqm is cleverly planned where, through flexible design, rooms and partitions can be added or removed. Natural daylight is of prime importance and plays a great role in the out/in relation hence, the larger space is oriented towards the 20sqm glass façade offering spectacular views of the surrounding woods. In the cave like atmospheric rooms, daylight comes to you through the deep cuts in the mountain further emphasizing the strong character of the surrounding landscape from the inside. The design is an experiment in sustainable strategies in both architecture – the hardware – and the technical installations – the software –, which have been designed by Arup Amsterdam. The contrast between shell and rooms is clearly visible. The concrete wall, needed to retain the mass of the mountain, is left unfinished. The welding joints of the steel spans are visible and the wood is untreated.
Inside there is an exceptional irony between severity and play. ‘One of a kind’ furniture pieces are placed throughout surrounded by surprising design details such as skateboard steps, glazed floor openings and raised curtains similar to that of a dramatic Grecian attire. The structure itself provides the compartments and joyfulness as opposed to leaving it up solely on the décor. However when it is left to the décor it never fails to impress, two words car = shelving. Simply true motion.
This is a project of great character, form, sensitivity and structural practicality. A project where every single detail has been carefully studied for endless hours and now offers the luxury of endless hours with which to simply enjoy it.