Location: Oisterwijk, The Netherlands
Office: Bedaux de Brouwer Architecten; Studio INA MATT
Authors: Ina Meijer, Ma\hijs van Cruijsen, Jacq. de Brouwer
Category: Collective Places
Photos: Michel Kievits
The private house is situated in the heart of a Dutch forest, on a plot bordered by two lakes.
The National Trust formulated architectonical preconditions for building a private house on such a unique location. They requested a modest and sober shape, as a reference to the archetypes that are characteristic for Brabant’s countryside. In the 27 meters wide, linear building volume, all functionalities have been chained to form a straight line through the garden. The façade facing the avenue is relatively closed, the façade facing the garden mostly open.
The outer walls and the saddled roof have been covered in black, stained, wooden boards. This specific use of material is a reference to the forest barn that previously sat on this plot. The interior is almost entirely made out of wood.
The design of Bedaux de Brouwer Architects offers an exceptional way of living: an open plan with added functionalities. The various functions have been linearly chained. The forest and all seasons can be experienced at their best. At the same time, the house offers the desired comfort and security in this unique spot.
Winner Royal Institute of Dutch Architects: the Best Dutch Building in 2015 – Category Private Living
The architect built a new house for a couple whose children have long since spread their wings. Spacious despite its modest size, if feels like home rather than an empty nest. He decided against trying to be avant garde. He definitely doesn’t want to be fashionable. His approach is to aim for enduring quality, to capture what you might call the essence of building. He want to create architecture that reflects our soul, our heart. He want it to have a positive impact on people’s quality of life.
Brouwhuis stands in the middle of a Dutch. He didn’t want this house to dominate the forest. Neither did his client. Both sides soon agreed on the objective: a new house that respects its natural surroundings. They wanted it to belong to the forest, to enter into a natural alliance with the woodland while simultaneously merging with it. That’s what eventually clinched the decision to make the façade out of black wood and glass and keep the contours simple. It’s an archetypal kind of house, a house like a child’s drawing.
The concrete terrace the house stands on conveys the impression of a building hovering above the ground, barely making contact with its natural surroundings. If you enter this platform you’re a guest invited to a special occasion. The platform serves a practical purpose too. Thanks to its elevated position, the house provides an uninterrupted view of the greenery.
The owners love their residence. Regardless of where they happened to be, the architect has created a cosy, enclosed spaces, compartments. Brouwhuis is precisely the home they needed. Not to much space, but not to little either. And above all, it makes them feel totally at ease when it’s just the two of them, while nevertheless providing plenty of room for entertaining friends.