VVKH has been selected to design a primairy school at the Jazzsingel in Utrecht. The tough looking school is centrally located with a park as it's backyard. The classrooms are organised around an elips-shaped playroom for exercize, music and dance classes. The set backs in the side-facades allow each classroom a view to the park.
This colourfull, functional and energysaving design fully provides in the requirements and ambitions of the Leiderdorp municipality. In 2008 the municipality decided to build a new town hall and was tendered as a design & build contract. Together wit Dura Vermeer Vastgoed, VVKH won the competition. They chose a two-storey building with an atrium and parking on the roof. The atrium forms a vivid space for employees and visitors. This is also where the public counters are situated.
The new town hall is a very sustainable building. In the design we took the whole lifecycle in analyses. The result is very comfortable spaces, environment friendly materials and extremely low energy use. Using renewable energy, this building is CO2 neutral.
Villa Meijendel takes its name from the nature reserve in which it is located, where a forest meets a valley of dunes. The house is constructed from concrete and set into the side of a sandy slope. The building's design aims to create a dialogue with its surroundings, both through the way the form and materials engage with the landscape, and through the use of glass to provide views out from and into the house.
The boxy geometric structure is entirely clad in charred timber, creating a textured black surface that appears different depending on how sunlight falls on it. The exterior finish, inspired by the ancient Japanese shou sugi ban technique, also helps to preserve the wood. Sometimes the house is almost invisible against the dark edge of the forest, sometimes it sparkles in the sunlight because of the glittering charred wood, as such forming a background for the play of shadows of tree trunks and branches. The villa hides and reveals itself in the landscape.
The property has its entrance on a middle level accommodating an office and two bedrooms. Stairs ascend to an open-plan kitchen and living space, and drop down to a master bedroom and gym room.
The living room features a full-height corner window that looks out through the trees towards the dune valley. A lower window facing to the rear and a large glazed surface lining the adjacent double-height circulation area face out onto the forest. At the far end of the first floor, sliding glass doors lead out from the kitchen onto a terrace.
The material palette –concrete, steel and anodised aluminium– was chosen to complement the tones and textures of the surrounding environment. Each material is applied in a raw, untreated form. Internally, the walls are finished with smooth concrete, while the rough-sawn Douglas fir beams supporting the ceilings feature a distinctive grain.
West 8, Adriaan Geuze, is responsible for the garden design.
Photography is by Christian van der Kooy