The client, an art curator and collector, wanted a house for her family of two generations and their many visiting friends. The new house should be fit into the park of an old country estate, a protected cultural heritage environment, and offer a base for a more forward looking and less formal lifestyle. It should also function as a starting point of a planned open air art exhibition in the beautiful cultivated landscape.
The site within the old estate was carefully selected to engage closely with the existing agricultural landscape without interfering with the experience of the park that stretches from the sea up to the site of the original buildings dating back to the 17th century with a large mansion built in early 19th century neoclassical style.
Given the completely undisturbed location, we imagined a type of transparent atrium house that could go from private secluded interior to completely open towards nature.
Rather than solid walls, we proposed a cantilevered roof floating above the ground.
The large square roof with its atrium opening creates a house without backsides where the interior spaces all have daylight and views in multiple directions. The regular rhythm of the structure let the landscape and surroundings stand out and constitute the main impression of the place: the oak hill, the lake, the meadow and farming field and how the character of the greenery changes with each season.
It is a solid wood construction throughout with the house itself reduced to a glass box with wooden walls and shutters to allow calibration of transparency depending on season, varying daylight and current occupation: from only family or entertaining with friends to future exhibition opening receptions.