A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes

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By Michele Koh Morollo
A summer home on the island of Vlieland in the Northern Netherlands takes the shape of a stormproof tent by De Waard, an iconic Dutch brand.

The eye-catching structure is located on a site that boasts over 200 summer homes nestled among rolling dunes. New local building regulations forbade new houses from being built in the area, and existing properties from having fences. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 1 of 11 - A concrete basement, where the bedrooms are located, is sunk beneath two dunes.

A concrete basement, where the bedrooms are located, is sunk beneath two dunes.

A large family approached Amsterdam practice Borren Staalenhoef Architecten for help with the renovation of their Vlieland holiday property, which was built in the 1970s. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 2 of 11 - A dining table and bench accommodate the large family that occupies the summer home.

A dining table and bench accommodate the large family that occupies the summer home.

In order to meet the new regulations, the best option was to demolish the property and rebuild it to create a more spacious and efficient home that better connects with its surroundings. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 3 of 11 - The abode's high roof was inspired by the De Waard Albatross tent.

The abode's high roof was inspired by the De Waard Albatross tent.

Located on the top of a sand dune, the house is dominated by a high roof that was inspired by the De Waard Albatross tent, a popular pyramidal camping tent designed by Dutch tent makers De Waard in 1961. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 4 of 11 - A covered porch on the ground floor

A covered porch on the ground floor

The triangulated, beveled roof structre is constructed like an upside-down ship hull with 3.15-inch laminated pinewood slats.

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 5 of 11 - A study desk built into the glass walls on the ground floor provides a workspace with views.

A study desk built into the glass walls on the ground floor provides a workspace with views.

A basement, ground level, and attic make up the home's three floors. To maintain a sense of privacy without resorting to a fence, the concrete basement, where the bedrooms are located, is sunk beneath the dunes, with a covered entrance portico that leads out to the landscape. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 6 of 11 - Under the roof are a basement, ground level, and attic. The basement level holds the bedrooms and uses the natural dunes as a privacy screen.

Under the roof are a basement, ground level, and attic. The basement level holds the bedrooms and uses the natural dunes as a privacy screen.

When looked at from the ground level, the basement is completed hidden. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 7 of 11 - An attic bedroom

An attic bedroom

A prefabricated wooden framework was built and mounted on top of the concrete base within two days, serving as the skeleton for the ground and attic levels. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 8 of 11 - The porch is easily accessible from the living lounge.

The porch is easily accessible from the living lounge.

The ground floor—where the communal areas like the living lounge, kitchen, and covered terrace are located—are fitted on all sides with glass to maximize views. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 9 of 11 - Bunk beds and built-in storage in the attic

Bunk beds and built-in storage in the attic

Viewed from the outside, the attic floor, which holds additional bedrooms and bathrooms, is also completely hidden.

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 10 of 11 - A cheerful, blue, tiled bathroom

A cheerful, blue, tiled bathroom

This attic level is suspended within the roof with the steel framework of the central staircase as its main means of support. 

A Tent-Shaped Home in the Netherlands Crouches Between Natural Dunes - Photo 11 of 11 - The open plan kitchen on the ground floor

The open plan kitchen on the ground floor

The gutter line of the roof varies in height, giving it the appearance of a delicate, lightweight shelter on the ground floor. The centrally located stairways open up towards the basement and grow narrow towards the attic. 


Project Credits: 

Architecture and interior design: Borren Staalenhoef Architecten 

Builders: Bouwbedrijf Dick Visser and Derix Laminated Timber 

Civil engineer: Adviesbureau ABT Luning 

Installations: Van der Weerd Installatietechniek 

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