Water…the elixir of life, an essential resource on earth. In the award-winning Villa 22 designed by Dreessen Willemse Architecten, water serves multiple purposes in the design beyond being a source of inspiration for the spatial concept.
The architect explains in detail: “In Villa 22, water serves as the connecting element. Not only did water play a unifying role in the construction process when pouring concrete, but it also has a defining function in which the villa is experienced and perceived. This is a villa where a geometric interplay of lines forms a symbiosis with the water in the swimming pool. This alliance between the hard, unyielding nature of the concrete, the warm appearance of the applied elmwood, and the rippling water is the essence of Villa 22.”
Villa 22 is nestled within a hill at the rural landscape of the green, leafy foreland of the Meuse river in the south of the Netherlands. Named after the 22-degree slope that the villa sits on, Villa 22’s house number is coincidentally “22” as well. From the exterior, leading into the villa’s grounds, the property emerges from its sprawling landscapes like it is part of the hilly context. Lush green foliage envelopes the villa, so even when you step inside, nature is always close by, thanks to windows and openings that optimise the surrounding natural views.
Indoors, the interior space follows a “logical structure”, as the architect describes. When you walk from one room to another, the transitory atmosphere presents subtle visual moments that cradle the senses with a touch of serenity. A stairway connecting the different levels also serves as an architectural element with its visual expressiveness. Throughout the space, concrete is a dominant material to bring out the villa’s water-inspired design.
“The potential of concrete as a construction material and as the proud main bearer of the architectural identity of the building has been pushed to extremes. The protruding balconies are illustrative of the tension that can be achieved with concrete,” the architect says. “During the construction work of the villa, the concrete was cast in place, and all the pipes and installations are installed in these concrete slabs.”
According to Dreessen Willemse Architecten, one of the most challenging aspects of this project was to combine all the elements of the design with the technical limitations of the in-place cast concrete. Nevertheless, with precise and meticulous execution, the result is a seamless integration of all the elements connecting with the concrete and optimising the load-bearing function of the concrete.
Photo credits: Dreessen Willemse Architecten
The Villa 22 Private House by Dreessen Willemse Architecten is a Platinum A’ Design Award Winner for Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category in 2020-21