Location: City of Almelo, the Netherlands
Type: Residential – Houses
Architects: Van der Jeugd Architecten – www.vanderjeugd.nl
Designteam: Paul van der Jeugd, Ruud van der Koelen, Mirjam Wiggers
Project area: 370 sqm
Project year: 2008
Photographs: Ruud van der Koelen
Key Materials/products: In Situ cast Concrete + Aluminum panels
Software used: Google Sketchup + Vectorworks
Modest in situ cast-concrete house in Almelo. Striking are the strategically positioned wall and roof openings, which optimize the view from the house and establish a special lightfall in the dwelling. In addition, the house has an internal logic, combining intimacy and spaciousness in a remarkable way.
The house is located in the newly developed residential area ‘Hegeman’ in Almelo. Within this plan, 9 lots where available for free sale. These plots are well positioned within in the district: adjacent to the canal, with a clear view of woods and meadows. Houses on these lots should to be unique and innovative, with great architectural quality.
The plot acquired by the client is located along a green plot which is kept open, creating a vista from the residential area behind the plots to the surrounding landscape of hedgerows, fields and canals.
During the first visit by the client to the architect, they proved very taken with the in situ-cast concrete work office of the architect. This led us to design a concrete dwelling: spatially strong, with an aesthetic minimalism put through to the last detail. Strategically rainwater drains, piping and electrical wiring were eliminated from sight, resulting in an almost Spartan and graphical appearance.
Knowledge and experience of in situ-cast concrete were used in both design and building process. This has led to a series of thoughtful and ingenious details. Also the building process was well controlled and directed by Van der Jeugd Architecten.
The dwelling was tailored to the needs of the client and the specificity of the location. When organizing the agreed housing program, the particular views and the specific light fall were of importance. This has led to a three-storey dwelling house and four specific spatial levels.
The design of the ground floor (split level) is such that a series of area’s were created with its own character, spatially and visually in contact with other area’s: intimacies with a minimum of visual and spatial separation.
Much care was taken to the staircases and outdoor spaces. Daylight openings are strategically positioned in the house, optimizing the experience of light and space. The balconies and outdoor spaces are positioned in such way that all the interesting views can be experienced, and are important in the appearance of the house.
Meyer House is more than one dwelling. It is a modest but extremely life-proof living machine, which actively enriches the everyday experiences of its residents, increases the quality of the site and particularizes a sense of space.