House Be / a2o architects
Text description provided by the architects. Huis Be is an experiment in which living in and between nature is central. A rhythmic structure in concrete, wood and brick contrasts with the frivolity of the restored landscape. Comparable to the romantic motif in 19th-century art, an attempt has been made to create a delicate field of tension between a sublime natural landscape and the human presence in it.
The structure of the house consists of exposed concrete, blinded with wooden planks. The proportions of aggregates, cement, sand, water and additives were carefully selected, weighed and tested. The result is a concrete skeleton with a rough and at the same time soft appearance. The structure is filled with large glass surfaces and facade masonry.
The bricks were made to measure and smothered in an authentic ring kiln. The facades look natural and nuanced and the light gray tone of the bricks matches the concrete structure. The window openings are framed by slender window profiles and offer an impressive view of the landscape. The roofs are covered with herbaceous flowers and plants and the garden continues into the building structure.
The house develops on three levels: basement, ground floor and first floor. The organization is conceived as a central trunk with branches. The trunk rises from the entrance zone with its own inner garden, which forms a soft transition between public and private. Inside the house, the trunk of the route leads past the kitchen and living room to the garden room. The route to the work rooms and the night hall on the other floor deviates from the central axis, so that private life remains separate.
When walking along the central axis, the landscape view gradually opens up, culminating in the garden room, which is furnished as a contemporary “Wunderkammer”. Think of it as an art cabinet such as can be found in the old mansions of dignitaries and freethinkers, where the most special art and natural objects were brought together and exhibited. The interior is composed of various architectural elements and personal objects, a solid wooden table, a floating concrete fireplace, a brass light artwork and tropical plants. Next to the garden room, a small ornamental garden has been laid out with flowers and rose bushes that are in full bloom in the summer months.
The interior of the house consists of natural materials such as oak, limestone and upholstery. The materials are rough but refined applied. The oak joinery and the natural stone floors are brushed and give a special tactility. Each room is furnished with appropriate furniture, objects and architectural lighting, but also with standing and hanging plants so that the greenery is also brought into the house. The residents can go about their daily lives in search of nature or retreat knowing that they are protected by their homes.
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