House Be is an experiment in dwelling in and amongst nature is the central theme. A rhythmic structure in concrete, wood and brick contrasts with the frivolity of the restored landscape. In a similar way to the Romantic motif from the 19th century arts, an attempt was made to create a sensitive tension between a sublime natural landscape and the human presence in it.
Structure in the landscape
The structure of the house consists of fair-faced concrete, shuttered with wooden planks. The proportions of aggregates, cement, sand, water and additives were carefully composed, weighed and tested. The result is a concrete skeleton with a rough and at the same time soft appearance. The concrete is visible in the façade, the outside passageway and in the interior. The structure is filled with large glass surfaces and facade brickwork. The bricks were custom-made and smothered in an authentic ring oven. The façades looks natural and nuanced, and the light-grey tone of the bricks match the concrete structure. The window openings are framed by slender window profiles and offer impressive views of the landscape. The roofs are overgrown with flowers and plants, and the garden extends into the building structure. The appearance of the facade changes throughout time and the seasons.
Experiment and tradition
The house develops itself on three levels: basement, ground floor and first floor. The organisation is conceived as a central trunk with branches. The trunk springs from the entrance zone with a private courtyard, which forms a soft transition between public and private. Inside the house, the trunk of the route leads past the kitchen and living room into the garden room. The route to the workrooms and the night hall on the other floor deflects from the central axis, thus keeping private life separate.
When walking along the central axis, the view of the landscape gradually opens up, culminating in the garden room. Which has been furnished as a contemporary "Wunderkammer". Think of it as an art cabinet like those that can be found in the old mansions of dignitaries and freethinkers, where the most extraordinary art and nature objects were brought together and displayed in one room. The interior of the room is composed of various architectural elements and personal objects, a solid wood table, a floating concrete fireplace, a brass light art work and tropical plants. Next to the garden room, a small ornamental garden was laid out with flowers and rose bushes that are in full bloom during the summer months.
A free-standing spiral staircase in the garden room connects the ground floor with the other floors. The rooms are oriented differently each time, which means that the incidence of light and the view of the outside varies. This becomes clear in a surprising way in a basement patio with a Japanese garden. An intimate counterpart to the expansive garden in which a spa and bar have been organised.
Detail and craftsmanship
The interior finishing of the house consists of natural materials such as oak, limestone and upholstery. The materials have been applied in a rough but refined way. The oak joinery and natural stone floors are brushed and give a special tactility. The woodwork, like the building structure, is simple and clear, without excessive frills. Doorways are not hidden but clearly accentuated, cupboard doors are fitted with wooden slats and visible handles, book shelves and kitchen furniture are partly open. Each room is furnished with appropriate furniture, objects and architectural lighting, as well as with standing and hanging plants, so that the greenery is also brought into the house. This has been carried through to the outside, with an outdoor kitchen and terrace under the awning. The residents can go about their daily lives in search of nature or retreat, and know that they are protected by their home.