Villa Meijendel

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

Related

The plan ‘de Biezenhof’ is part of the new residential area ‘Waterrijk Woerden’ and is situated along a natural watery region. The urban scheme of ‘Waterrijk Woerden’ was designed by West 8 and refers to the traditional Dutch water cities such as Delft and Leiden. The design is made in collabiation with Klunder architects. Almost every dwelling is individual and has a specific connection to the water.

The plan of Biezenhof is divided in two parts: there is one block of family houses around a courtyard on the edge of the lake, and there is a row of water houses and apartments along a canal.

The buyers of the houses could choose between several types of houses as well as between four architects. Due to the possibilities in combining type and architect, not one house is the same. Every house has a singular character: the lake houses have a beautiful view on the lake, the street houses have a garden, and the canal houses enclose big terraces. In the public space there are a few parking places, the majority of parking places are organised in garages.

The houses designed by Knappers are characteristic because of the huge roof overhanging the façade. This contributes to the shelter-against-the water identity of the houses, and refers to the greenhouse glass constructions in the low lands. At the street side these houses are made of brick, which gives them a closed and open (to the light and the water) individuality.

For the Hoge Rijndijk location in Zoeterwoude, a new construction plan has been developed for an apartment building with starter homes, after demolition of the existing office building. The building stands on the edge of the large-scale buildings that are currently being built between the Oude Rijn and the Hoge Rijndijk, and the existing residential area from the 1980s. It adjacents to a small park on the east side. The new building has been placed in the building line of the Rijndijk and thus strengthens the profile of the road. The parking spaces are located in the rear area, lined by green. By dividing the building mass in three, a smaller scale is created, which is further reinforced with differences in brickwork and roof shape. The building will contain 34 residential units of approximately 50 m2 and a bicycle storage. An extremely energy-efficient and sustainable design is achieved with individual heat pumps and solar panels on the roof.

The permit application is being processed, implementation is expected in 2021.

On a piece of wasteland in Leiden between the Lucebert Street and Toussaintkade an apartment building, ‘the Verleyding’ will rise this year. Construction started in March. In the building are 112 rental apartments for young professionals between 18 and 35 years. The properties are suitable for 1- or 2-person households, and have a surface of approximately 30 m2 (one-room apartment) and 45 m2 (two-room apartment).

The project is being developed and built by ten Brinke respectively Real Estate and ten Brinke Bouw. After realization the building owner will be SHWJ, Leiden. The housing design is tailored to the needs of SHWJ.

The building is 12 floors high and will become a landmark in Leiden. The area is bounded by the railway, a pond and a small park. On the park side the building stands on columns. Under the underpass, the entrance and lift are located. Together with the corridor access therefore an efficient plan has been realized, with 10 dwellings per floor. The upper apartments have stunning views over the city. The view can fully be enjoyed through the large windows. The ground level apartments have their own garden. Residents can cross a bridge over water to the park. Parking takes place on private property. The main body is constructed in a rhythm of frameworks of orange brick. The large frameworks ensure that the building looks less massive and joins well in the neighbourhood. The roof shape refers to the adjacent housing, it is finished with aluminium losagnes.

The Kanaalpark is an office area along the Vliet on the south side of Leiden. Here, two apartment buildings are being built for starters.

Many offices in this area have long been vacant and the area looks messy and dated. The municipality of Leiden has challenged developers to take the initiative to transform the site into a high-quality living-work area. That glove is being picked up. Some offices are being converted into apartments, others are being demolished and replaced by residential buildings. Viable office owners are making a quality improvement. The municipality has drawn up an ambitious plan for the redesign of the public space.

Commissioned by the Leidse Vastgoed Maatschappij we have designed two apartment buildings for starters on the labor market. Block 1 with 88 apartments is being built on the site of an old office building. Block 2 with 41 apartments will be built on an existing parking lot. The buildings have been carefully integrated into the urban design and complete the structure of closed building blocks. Height accents are determined in conjunction with the environment. The blocks are architecturally parceled, in line with the already completed housing construction.