A unique woodland villa built for a family in the Netherlands has been designed to fit into the side of an artificial mountain.
The house is located on a historical agricultural plot amid hayfields and woods in a nature reserve that, by Dutch standards, is a hilly area.
The family wanted to keep the ecological footprint to a minimum, so architects KRFT referenced the hilly terrain by creating an artificial hill that would camouflage and blanket the house from view on its northern side, using the earth as thermal insulation.
On the southern side, the house is opened up with a big glass facade framed in timber – lark wood forested from the immediate surroundings. Designed to conform to the mountain, even the front patio runs along the undulating ground.
The floor plan of the house in an open rectangular 12 x 9 metre open space where rooms are stacked in a disorderly manner, built out of light wooden structures.
The young family who live there wanted a space that could be easily changed in the future, evolving along with its inhabitants, meaning rooms can be added or removed over time.
The transition from indoor to outdoor is detailed in the unfinished concrete wall that is used to support the mass of the mountain and the wooden window frames, which were left unfinished.
The welding joints of the steel spans are also visible giving the space an industrial feel.
The home is heated through a passive heating system called wood pellet heating, in combination with low temperature heating and CO2 monitored ventilation.
“There is a binary spatial experience in the house,” says Thomas Dieben, of KRFT. “Either you are in a room, with a cave-like atmosphere, daylight coming to you through deep cuts in the mountain – or you are in the large open space in front of the stacked rooms. This large space is oriented towards the 90sqm glass facade which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding woods.”
Each of these stacked rooms has been finished by its owner and a tells a unique story of the individual family member who inhabits the space.
A protruding hemispherical window is a fun original feature, allowing the observer to gain a full 180-degree view of the surrounding woodlands.
For a slightly different take on the floating staircase, these steps – leading up to the split-level kitchen – have been made from recycled skateboards.
In keeping with the theme of recycled decor – this wall mounted convertible has been transformed into the most unconventional and delightful storage solution.
“The house is bold and unpredictable: an experiment in sustainable strategies in concept, structure, material and technical installations. A house that blends quietly in its surroundings, but stands out with spatial surprises,” says Dieben.
Originally published as Dutch cabin built into a mountain is a winter dream by Alice Bradley. Author at realestate.com.au