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Hovering Monolith House

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23-Sep-2010
Anticipating the arrival of their first child, our commissioners were looking out for a new home. They aspired a modern starters villa, to house their young family in a spatial fashion. Together with architect-to-be Rob Bergervoet, JagerJanssen designed the solitary dwelling on the 618 sq. meter plot, part of urban project Westeraam in Elst, The Netherlands.

Daily activities are concentrated in a large open space on ground level, enabling unobstructed view on playing infants. In addition, interior office space was required. The private functions are located on the first floor.
The dwelling consists of two layers. The texture of the lower layer is heavy and earthly. Dark bricks with emphasized horizontal seams give the base an abstract and rock-like feel. The base carries the – in multiple respects – lighter top layer, a wooden monolith. The seams in the Trespa HPL cladding façade suggest that the volume consists of massive blocks. The separation is emphasized by a separating horizontal glass strip. A soft effect is reached by using wobbled double layered translucent plastic plates in the front
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and rear of the upper floor façade. The front façade looks more formal due to the central placement of the window frame. In the lower left the flower casing turns around the corner, introducing the less rigid side façade, which culminates in far more transparent rear façade.
The lower floor is constructed around an axis leading from front- to terrace door. Perpendicular to this axis a wall spanning from side to side marks the border between living- and service spaces. The living space is a synoptic space which also contains the separate cooking unit. The part of the wall that borders to the kitchen contains the built in cooking equipment.
From the landing of the straight staircase, there is a nice view at the triangular window. On the upper floor the infrastructural axis is oriented in the other direction, thus creating an interesting spatial play.
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