Project Description

Qurios Vakantiepark Gulpen – Lodges

Location: Gulpen
Year: 2019 – 2021
Area: 98.688 m2
Status: built
Client: Inleisure and Roompot
Team: Remko Remijnse, Agnese Argenti, Emanuele Saracino, Paula Geoghie, Nestor Ramos Martin, Pelle Rademakers, Elena Ciucarelli
Landscape: Snoek Puur Groen
Interior: RH Interieurs
Contractor: Barli, Peter Peters and Mooduul

In September 2021 Qurios Gulpen park opens its doors for the first time, marking a new standard for recreational parks. The park is located in the Southern Limburg region which is known, among other things, for the hilly landscape, the local stone, the breweries and, in general, for the local culture and traditions, closer to Belgium and northern France compared with the rest of the Netherlands. All these distinctive characteristics have been integrated in the design of the park, from the point of view of both architecture, landscape design and interior. Qurios Gulpen park can be mainly divided in two parts: the eastern part that hosts the main entrance, with main building and parking and a secluded forest-like environment with lodges scattered in the woods. The western part is entirely on the open slope of a big hill and hosts two kind of accommodations, some carved into the hill and some on the top of the hill as watchtowers. The principle behind this differentiation is that like this you can experience the park in completely different ways since the experience drastically changes if you change area or accommodation: you can relax in the shadow among the trees in a forest, you can enjoy the countryside life, you can have dinner on the restaurant terrace with a panoramic view across the Gulpen Valley or you can have the one time in life chance to stay in a house inside the hill with all comforts.

There are 185 accommodations in the park, divided in 14 types, all cladded with wooden planks or local stone and covered with green roofs, to mix well with the context, all transportable in one or more prefab modules, but all very different between each other in exterior and interior appearance and in the relation with the landscape:

– Valley house, for 4 persons as the name states, the design and positioning is focused on giving the best view towards the valley, thanks to a big corner glass facade and a sunny terrace in the corner. There are also three variants of this cabin. Facing the Gulpen Valley there is a group of cabins that are specifically designed for disabled people and a group of common cabins. On the northern side of the park, standing on a platform on poles looking towards the countryside, there is another group of Valley houses that have an unobstructed view of the lush countryside. They are placed on a slope or in parallel, so that they don’t obstruct each other the view.

– Hill house, for 6 persons. Standing on a slope, this cabins is designed to have a very nice view, no matter the placement of it. It’s a two floors cabin with a big living room at the ground floor looking towards the inner part of forest in the middle of the park and bedrooms at the first floor looking at the forest and towards the valley. The first floor hovers over the ground floor to emphasize the view towards the valley.

– Square house, for 6 and 8 persons. The volumes of these cabins are studied to give variety to the main road of the park, since most of them are placed along it. They all have two facings, with the main glass facade towards the countryside or towards the inner part of the park, which grants nice view and privacy. The facades have higher volumes in which there are skylights that bring filtered light coming from above the trees that add a different atmosphere to the interior. Inside all functions like toilet, shower and technical rooms are placed in a wooden central ‘utility box’ so that the rest of the space can flow freely around this box providing a different view on the landscape from each corner.

– Round house, for 10 persons. This design is oriented towards groups of friends or big families. The round shape lets the landscape flow freely around the cabin. From each roof there is a unique visual contact with the outside. The living room covers half of the cabin and has a large curved panoramic window that faces the big open public field and playground in the park. Kids can play freely outside while parents remain in visual contact with them from inside the cabin. In the inner part of the living room you can find a kitchen with a private view through a big skylight so you can cook while watching the stars in the sky.

– Forest house, for 6 persons. The design of this cabin is based on the concept of living in a tree house. As long as you go up you always enjoy different points of view between the trees. To achieve the tree-house feeling the cabin is on 3 not staked floors, with a main staircase and many small cantilevered volumes that make this cabin, together with the dark wood facade, fit perfectly in the shaded core of the forest. The ground floor is used for livingroom, with 2 separated areas for seating and dining, bedrooms and services are on first and second floor. On the first floor there is also access to a big elevated terrace surrounded by the foliage of the trees.

– Tower house, 4 persons. This cabin is designed to make you feel like the king of the hill. Standing at the highest point of the park they have views across the Gulpen Valley that seem to go on forever. From a distance the towers look like abstract volumes that look like ancient watchtowers. This will be emphasized over time when the wood will turn grey, giving the cabin a more stone like appearance. Particularly remarkable is the view from the big window of the second floor bedroom that frames the landscape like a picture. The 3 floors are stacked with the staircase core in the back side of the cabin, livingroom at the ground floor and bedrooms with open bathrooms upstairs. The concept of a tower is possible only by having slender proportions in the verticality so, the footprint of the cabin is just 22 m2 for 8 m of height. The interior space is very compact, so white wooden planks were used in the interior to achieve the sensation of staying in a bigger space.

– Landscape house, 2 types for 4 persons (royal and comfort) and 1 for 6 persons. The concept for this design is not limited to the single architectural object, but is based on their aggregation. In order to have, as final result, a grassy hill with cuts in its surface that have a minimum impact on the landscape from close and far distance, the cabins are fully embedded in the hill and are covered with grass and local flowers. The façade is covered with a local stone giving the site an appearance of stone walls that randomly cross the green terraces. Cuts in this stone wall create stunning views from all rooms of the cabin. The cabins are made from prefab polished concrete elements. On the inside the concrete remains visible and thus creating a cave like experience inside the green hill.

There are also 4 themed cabins in the park, each with its specific design related to the specific location and theme:

– Square ”reflection”, for 2 persons. This design ensures maximum comfort and relaxation to users. To achieve this, the focal points are the position, slightly far from other accommodations and in the northern corner of the plot, the view towards the countryside through the glass facade in the back, the jacuzzi panoramic patio, the fluid space with no doors except for the service core, highlighted with the use of wood.

– Forest ”non-dutch”, for 4 persons. The base idea for this accommodation was to have a multi-floor cabin where each floor embraces a different relationship the context. Ground and top floor are large 2 persons bedrooms and the middle floor is the living room. The ground floor is strongly related to direct context and has its outside space next to the river under the cantilevered first floor creating a intimate environment. The top floor is the opposite. Here the bedroom here has lots of windows and a roof terrace looking at all directions. The bathroom here is a volume that floats between the trees. In the middle the guests can meet in a multi space living room.

– Round ”Burgundy”, for 8 persons. This design started from the idea of having a convivial space for many people to stay together and enjoy food and drinks on the ground floor with a professional kitchen and Burgundy style table and interior. The cabin is located very close to the main building where guests can pick fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden and cook them in the cabin. Upstairs there are 4 bedrooms with a lot of privacy, but from each room one can still experience different views. The floor are identical in shape and size, but shifted compared to each other. This shift creates a roof terrace on the first floor and a covered terrace on the ground floor.