The nature of the commission. Private commissioners Michel and Karin had laid their hand son a magnificent plot in the brand new water-city Blauwestad, in province of Groningen, the far north of the Netherlands. In the local landscape the bleak winds have free play, and the clouds pile up in primeval Dutch fashion. Heart of Blauwestad in a newly dug lake measuring 8 km2. 1500 dwellings are planned bordering this lake, divided over several sub-areas. De Zwarte Hond architects realised the promising and comprehensible quality plan for the architectural development.
The concerning plot is located in the sub-area ‘Het Riet’. A bowel-shaped constellation of islands. The layout of the islands is simple: Plots facing the water adjacent to a central road. The islands are connected by means of bridges. After their earlier plans were rejected by the Blauwestad design team, the family came in contact with JagerJanssen. We got the commission to realise dwelling on this magnificent location.
Program of requirements and desires. In two meetings the Dijk family and JagerJanssen established a list of requirements and desires. Above all the dwelling should not only be large, but also feel spacious. Three floors were required: one for parking cars and motorbikes, a ground floor with kitchen and living – bathing in natural light – with lost of space and of a certain grandeur, and a level with 4 bedrooms.
The design. The building volume consist of a dwelling covered by a continuous skin, consisting of anthracite coloured corugated sheets. The main volume is determined by this skin, walls and roof become one, the expression of the sin is the main theme. The inside of the skin is ‘soft’, covered pebble-plex, a light and bright wood type. From the interior the spatial experience is optimised by the viewing axes over the Groningen landscape, implemented in the design. By lifting the entire volume and placing it on the slightly contracted souterrain, the images of hovering is created.
Contracted in this case was Marcel van der Sluis, a young and ambitious architect-contractor, not afraid of unconventional designs, embracing the challenge. The difficulty with this design was the souterrain, which had to remain above ground-water level. This restriction, together with maximum building height dictated by the quality plan, determined the division and position of the three floor. The souterrain is approximately 1.5m below ground level, the first floor 1m above, like a belle-etage.
The intention of the house is both large as spacious. Two longitudinal viewing axes guide the inside of the side facades. These axes are legible in the facades when approaching from the street. The axes are utilised in several ways in the organisation of the dwelling: The axis starting at the entrance facilitates vertical sight and transport. The adjacent axis goes from outside to the inside leading to the porch.
The kitchen is positioned in the centre of the ground floor plan and defines an axis perpendicular to the house. From here the parents can keep an eye on their playing children in the garden. By stepping left or right, on end up on one of the other axes.
Location: Vikna 20, 9685 HD Blauwestad, The Netherlands Architect: JagerJanssen architecten BNA Client: Michel Dijk & Karin Berrelkamp
Function: private residence
Gross area: 318 m2 incl. souterrain
Cost: ca. 250.000
Building: period 8 months
Finished: 16 jul 2007 Design team: ir. Alex Jager, architect
ir. Rogier Janssen, architect
ir. Sanne Braakenburg, architect
Advisors: Solke Abbring [installaties]
Contractor: ir. Marcel van der Sluis
Photography: Rob de Jong/SAPh, Michiel en karin Dijk