Villa 1, HofmanDujardin Architects – analysis by Archphil.
The building is placed at the rear of a large, flat site with the
horizontal lines of its façade reflected in the pathway from the road.
The roof and the ground floor are both large, angular and dark blocks
which are set off by large panes of glass
that keep the geometry clean and the appearance uncluttered.
Below grade, the story changes. At the front of the house, running
parallel to the pathway, concrete steps lead down towards a
basement-level patio, opening to a glass hall-way/family room. On
either sides, this subterranean space is lined by bedrooms. At the rear
of the house, the gesture is continued in the shape of a long, sloping
ramp up into the garden.
Villa Geldrop is a house for a businessman with a family. Seen as a
home, it is easy to analyse. Bedrooms and bathrooms are sheltered
below ground. Living room, dining room and kitchen are all
walk-through areas on the ground floor. On the upper level, more
intimate than the others due to its angled roof, a study area has been
created. This space benefits from the indirect light that is generated
by the composition of glass and the opening up of the area by
considering it to be a kind of mezzanine. This results in a house which,
despite strong geometry, feels spacious rather than large, and cozy
rather than crisp.
The building is more than a home, however.
Primarily as a result of the different but complementary wishes of the
client and the architect, the project lends itself to a multi-layered
analysis. There is line-of-sight connection through the house’s main
axis which runs along the concrete trench that defines the spatiality
of the project. This effect is increased by moving the two staircases to
the side. Both stairs run up from the lower level to the ground floor,
one of which continues to the attic level.
Using the floor plans as a guide, the project can be viewed as a
modern interpretation of the classic box plan.