year | 2000
place | Venlo
category | privé woning
Unfortunately, today’s discussion on architecture is no longer about what architecture is (the being of architecture) but about how architecture should look: the collage, the image. Architecture should be about the place: what is there, what is about to happen and how architecture might affect the place; the intervention, the damage; the light, which keeps changing and is impressionable on its own; the perfection and the imperfection of it; and at last, the materialization.
Our task for the design of this private house was to find a way of placing a volume on a piece of land as if the building had always been at this location, where the given outlines, along which we could build, were not determined by the quality of the place but by the building lines following the borders of the road. The house ought not to be designed as an object alongside the road, but as a completion of the site. The location had gratefully given us the existing trees; hence the house is designed and organized around a garden filled up with trees.
The house is a composition of building blocks with simple, strong volumes and austere façades; solids and voids are shuffled like chessmen until the right composition is found. The window openings provide the volume of the walls with rhythm and measurement.
The interior is a translation of the organization of the program towards spatial sequence, in which the chosen divisions are not predictable solutions. In spite of the orthogonal division of space, the house contains diagonal lines of sight in the spatial discoveries, which make the experience alternate also through different incidences of light.
The architecture that thus originates is of a kind, which recalls commonness or platitude, the essence and precision to embed a building into its location, and to design a house to come home to, not an object that can be placed on a random location.
Design - Realization: 1999 - 2000
Address: Dahliaweg, Venlo
Project Team: Jo Janssen, Jeroen van Haaren, Simon Zumstein