Five small artificial islands mark the border between the suburban expansion of Almere Stad -the new neighborhood ‘Noorderplassen West’- and the nature area ‘Noorderplassen’. House with 11 views is located on one of these islands. Although the distinction between culture and nature is palpable, both are part of the same polder landscape. A landscape that had its origin on the design table and was created out of nothing.
With this context in mind, the villa was designed as an abstract white box, that stands on the island as an object. In the design historicizing architectural references were avoided since it would simply ignore the fact that this environment is new. A more abstract, conceptual approach was chosen, offering the freedom to experiment and to apply unconventional materials and construction principles. The abstract architecture also offers the direct environment the freedom to develop its own identity.
The client asked for a house with a industrial and loft-like appearance with a maximum floor area at a low building cost. In order to meet the clients wishes the house was built in an unconventional way: a building method which is normally seen in the construction of industrial halls. A steel frame clad with sanwich elements of corrugated steel and polyurethane insulation. This has resulted in the raw and industrial look of the design. The four floors have their own character and function. The ground floor is designed like a boathouse with a garage. From there the residents have direct access to the wooden deck and the water. The living spaces and the kitchen are located on the first floor, where the large windows on both sides of the house visually connect the front yard and the nature area the Noorderplassen at the back of the house. The second floor contains the private bedrooms and the top floor works as a multifunctional penthouse.
Framing the landscape
The impressive view on the ‘Noorderplassen’ and the ‘IJsselmeer’ has inspired to create windows that frame different parts of the landscape. In the search for the right proportions of the windowframes, eleven 17th-century Dutch landscape-paintings served as a direct example. By showing the similarity between the landscape paintings and the view on the Noorderplassen, the specific qualities of the landscape such as the Dutch light are emphasized.
Because extra insulation and gypsum board was added to the innerside of the steelframe, the windowsills are extra deep. This offers the inhabitants the experience of sitting inside the view.
The windows all have an integrated sunscreen with an unique print. The graphic depicts a zoom in on the original painting with a color gradient over it. Which creates a warm and atmospheric setting when the screens are down.
Located on an island in the Noorderplassen nature area in the Dutch city of Almere, the House with 11 Views was designed as “an abstract white box,” according to architect Marc Koehler. The architect used 17th-century Dutch landscape paintings as references for the home’s windows, which frame different parts of the natural landscape.