Project Description

Villa West aan Zee, Terschelling

Location: Terschelling
Year: 2018 – 2023
Area: 248 m2
Status: under contruction
Client: private
Team: Remko Remijnse, Matteo Carbone, Pelle Rademakers, Agnese Argenti, Emanuele Saracino, Manfredi Guidi di Bagno, Ewelina Wolska
Installations: Bakker Installaties
Interior: Kooistra Interieurbouw
Contractor: Bouwbedrijf Bos

The client is the owner of an existing holiday home in the West aan Zee area on Terschelling island and also owns the adjacent vacant lot on which there is a construction destination. The task for 2by4 was to design a sustainable holiday home for the whole client’s big family, that makes maximum use of the fantastic view over the dunes, with a contemporary design, blended into the sandy dune landscape of West aan Zee.

The plot is located along the main road from West to Midsland aan Zee and has a very peculiar ground setting. In contrast to the the nearby houses, this plot is dell among the dunes, creating a sheltered and intimate place with some height difference that shields the view from west, east, and north sides: towards the neighbors, while there is a good sight line that conveniently overlooks the southern dune close to the street, giving a good view towards the water pond right over the main road. This means that with a good use of the heights on the plot is possible to have privacy from the neighbors and the main road, enjoying at the same time the view on the dunes, the small pond and even the “Badhuiskuil” 150 meters on south west, a famous mere of this area, used for birdwatching.

The spatial configuration of the plot and the potential sight lines were guiding principles of the design, affecting the angled placement of the building, the way of using of heights, the volumes and the materialization. These factors contribute to make the 2 floors building fit into the landscape exploiting the views and the heights. The most privacy-requiring spaces are out of sight from the public road and, in particular, the concrete basement is partially sunk into the dunes, making it a bunker-like building. The top floor is more open, with pitch roof, lighter in materialization and well fitting in the dunes colour. The house has a logical orientation towards the panoramic view in the south, while the other facades are much more closed to guarantee privacy and the position in the plot is strategic, to be in a closer relation with the existing house the clients own . The basement will be embedded even more in the landscape by raising the dune slightly adding the soil that has been removed by the placement of the basement. Only at the openings of the basement the landscape will be slightly lower to allow daylight to pass, while the terrace at the top floor has the double function of enhance the view towards the ponds and covering the entrance cut in the ground floor volume.

Materialization of walls and roof on first floor will consist of seamless wooden finishing, so that roof and walls visually flow into each other. The building mass is thus experienced as a modern volume in the sandy landscape, with the wooden finishing naturally aging but retaining its natural shade so that, seen from a greater distance, the volume blends with the color of current vegetation such as sea buckthorn and dune grass.

The ground floor, accessible through a passage in the dunes, hosts all the bedrooms and is designed to give the possibility to rent some of the rooms while keeping a part of the services reserved for the owners, achieved thanks to a service core with wood finishing that contains bathrooms, storage and laundry. It is separated from the bedrooms by the corridor that ends on one end with a small patio and on the other with the staircase going upstairs, resulting in a very compact and functional space with a strong accent on minimalistic, although warm, design. At the first floor the space is much more open and tall, since it hosts livingroom and dining room and uses the full height of the pitch roof volume. The service block is extended up to the ceiling with the same materialization and contains staircase, storage, technical room and toilet. There are big glass facades towards south terrace and balcony, there’s a long skylight extending into the wall on the east side. In the back of the building there are no big openings but there’s a small covered terrace towards the other house owned by the clients, just few meters further.