Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Sparrendaal country estate in Netherlands by Team V Architecture
August 23rd, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Team V Architecture
Sparrendaal country estate in the south of the Netherlands has been designed with great attention to detail and is tailored to the specific requirements of its occupants. The estate, where the monastery Nieuw Sparrendaal once stood, consists of two parcels of land on either side of a long avenue of lime trees. Team V Architecture designed both the private home and a pavilion with space for exhibitions, cultural events and meetings.
On the old avenue of lime trees
The two buildings have been carefully positioned in the landscape, which has been designed by landscape architect Michael van Gessel. The existing landscape has been retained wherever possible. The avenue of lime trees, which formed the entrance to the monastery, is once again connected to the road and has been opened up to hikers. In order to safeguard the privacy of the house’s occupants, a 75 centimeter high hedge has been planted along the avenue and trees have been strategically positioned around the buildings.
The house is noticeably visible from the road, while the pavilion is discreetly tucked away amongst the greenery. The entrance drives are asymmetrically positioned in relation to the road, thereby restricting a direct view of the buildings.
The house comprises a robust block-shaped volume clad with basalt slabs that vary in size, thickness, texture and colour. Four transparent glazed axes slice through the block and divide the house into nine spaces, each with its own character. The slightly convex roof ties the separate volumes together, thereby preserving the unity of the whole.
The transparent axes function as intermediary spaces and serve as an entrance, circulation zone and a conservatory. They establish visual relationships between the volumes and afford a view of the surrounding landscape on all sides. The basalt exterior cladding continues inside of the axes, which brings about a smooth transition between inside and outside. This effect is accentuated by the elongated swimming pool, which springs from one of the axes.
Collection of ambiences
The nine areas on both floors all have their own ambience and interior design. The kitchen is centrally situated and forms the lively focal point of the house, as is customary in this part of the country. It has a neutral interior and gives access to the glazed axis, which here serves as a conservatory.
The living room is slightly sunken and calls to mind the snug sunken sitting areas popular in the 1970s, complete with deep-pile carpet. The all-white bathroom, too, is unusual. It is flooded with light and is heated by an open fire, while the large skylight affords the occupants a view of the stars when they take a bath.
The pavilion is situated in a more secluded position on the estate. The exterior walls of this single-storey building are covered with greenery so that it blends in effortlessly with its wooded setting, while nature enters from all sides through the tall windows.
The plectrum-shaped floor plan comprises three sections: an apartment for the caretaker and two multifunctional spaces. The interior is light, simple and is clad mainly with natural materials. All of the functions are located behind bamboo walls, which are partially rotatable and slidable, making different spatial configurations possible. As a result, the occupants of Nieuw Sparrendaal can use the pavilion themselves or hire it out for a range of activities; from art exhibitions to yoga lessons and from work meetings to small-scale musical performances.
Love of art
The occupants of Nieuw Sparrendaal wanted space for their art collection in their new home. Consequently, there are large expanses of wall surface in the rooms and in the axes of the private house. By positioning windows in the corners of the volumes, wall space has been maximized, as wel as the view.
The occupants’ love of art is such that the artists Joost van Bleiswijk and Kiki van Eijk were invited to design the interiors of the dining room and the study. The archetypal study with its two-colour parquet floor features Van Bleiswijk’s sturdy white and rusted steel ‘no screw no glue’ cupboards.
The pièce de résistance is the double-height dining room. With its striking ultramarine blue walls and a gigantic chandelier made of white, hand blown, Venetian glass crockery, this room is in itself a work of art.
Contact Team V Architecture