Villa Vught

For those that have a real eye for contemporary architecture, you’ll find it hard not to be impressed with the stunning Villa Vught from Mecanoo Architects. This magnificent piece of design is quite unlike anything we’ve encountered here at The Coolector of late and it is chock full of interesting design ideas that help set it apart from the competition.

Located in the Netherlands, Villa Vught from Mecanoo is a most striking piece of architecture indeed and it has 683m² of living space which is pretty vast by anyone’s standards. It is a Villa in the Dutch countryside located near Vught which gives a modern twist to the local farmstead typology. Traditionally, the Dutch ‘hoeve’ is an ensemble of farmhouses and living quarters loosely positioned around a courtyard. This spatial arrangement guided the design of the Villa Vught and its functions are distributed within three distinct volumes, shaped to resemble the vernacular of a small village.

Delicious Dutch Design

The two lower volumes of Villa Vught are shaped like typical gabled barns with each directly connected to the surrounding gardens that really brings the outdoors inside. The higher volume of the property expertly captures the view of the wide landscape and forms a brilliant contrast with the lower buildings. The tallest element, the most prominent building, is where you’ll find the master bedroom on the ground floor, children’s rooms on the upper floors and a roof terrace at the top which offers first class views out across the countryside.

Gloriously contemporary, the beauty of Villa Vught from Mecanoo lies in its absolute attention to detail both on the inside and outside. Of the two barns, one is furnished as a living room, kitchen with dining area and a large veranda on the south-west side, with a workspace and playroom on the first floor. In the other barn you’ll find a cooking studio where up to twenty people can participate in culinary classes, workshops and team-building activities. Adjacent to the studio there is a garage, storage area and a guest suite on the first floor. Vast sliding doors in the centre of the barn can be opened to reveal an eye-catching entrance gate to the courtyard area of the property which is perfect for relaxing and unwinding.

The design of Villa Vught strives to connect the residential functions of the property while also maintaining the detached traditional farmstead typology that is synonymous with the region. As a result, a half-sunken corridor, which is concealed beneath a grass mound, links the taller landmark volume with the barn’s living room. The barn, which contains the cooking studio and guesthouse is completely detached, which does a superb job of keeping sightlines from the courtyard to the surrounding landscape. 

Contemporary Classic

The construction and detailing of Villa Vught replicates the Dutch ‘hoeve’ or farmstead expertly. The exterior, dark bronze anodised aluminium cladding, which was picked to seamlessly extend beyond the façade to the rooftop, was chosen to reflect the corrugated iron roofs of other farm buildings located nearby. The window frames, which traditionally have a brighter colour, have a lighter bronze aluminium finish. Throughout each building, the lovely views towards the landscape are carefully framed. Rather than making wide full-height openings, windows are placed like picture frames, adorning the walls with selected images of the surrounding farmlands.

Wood is the dominant material used throughout Villa Vught and it is found in both the structure and interior design of the property as it is a material that is at once sustainable and aesthetically warm. The three buildings have a cross-laminated timber structure and European silver fir interior surfaces, a type of wood that has an exceptionally smooth and uniform texture. In comparison to other solid construction methods, not much energy is required for the production and processing of cross-laminated timber so this villa is an environmentally friendly property.

Leo Davie
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