Villa L, Utrecht Netherlands — Paradox Of United Diversity

A Stunningly Fresh Take On Modernism By Powerhouse Company & RAU

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Villa L is a spatially diverse residence where every floor has its own strong identity, creating a broad spatial scope within a unified whole —  three floors, three unique environments (of which one is below ground and yet exposed with significant window glazing).

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Powerhouse Company, in collaboration with RAU, recently completed Villa L. Designed to the desires and needs of a young — and very fortunate — family, Villa L is set in the woods of central Netherlands, fully oriented towards the sun and garden views, and features green building strategies including hot and cold-water storage and hidden photovoltaic cells.

The ground floor, occupied by living and dining rooms, is partially covered by a green roof which also acts as a garden for the bedrooms upstairs. In contrast to the brightness and transparency of the ground floor, with its glossy travertine and mirrored glass, the top floor exterior walls are covered with dark-stained wood to suggest a more private atmosphere.

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Main level is for living, with an open ground floor. A strip of service rooms containing storage, toilets and stairs, provides easy access to the elegantly open living spaces. The kitchen and the living room are oriented to best utilize natural light and provide views of the garden. Two studies are located near the living area, on the north side next to the entrance. The “cabins” on the second floor are surrounded by the roof garden that appears as an extension of the surrounding forest.

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The upper level of Villa L was conceived as a “village of cabins” – a cluster of intimate and private dark-stained-wood detached volumes that follow a different outline compared to the ground floor. Each ‘cabin” room provides its own private views over the wooded landscape. In order to achieve this affect, architects developed a complex steel frame that surrounds the volumes. An 11-meter steel cantilever supports the structure – although it’s completely hidden from view.

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The curvaceous subterranean level is for guests, fitness, pool, storage, and cars. The unique excavations along three parts of the below-ground level allow the pool and the guest rooms to have fully glazed facades and direct access to the garden, while the remaining offers access for cars. All the high-end energy-saving systems are situated in the subterranean level, as well.

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