We’ve seen many old structures transformed into modern spaces yet none of them was designed so much care and preparation as Villa RR. this is a house that was originally built in 1967 and which got a complete remodel in 2017. Two memorable projects, 50 years apart. Planning the new design took architect Theo Reitsema and interior designer Stephanie Weitering of Reitsema and Partners a whole year and the reason for that is pretty special. The couple and their two young children moved into the old house and lived there for an entire year, a period during which they tried to understand the home and to explore the possibilities regarding its transformation into a contemporary and also sustainable house.
By living in the house for a whole year, the designers were able to experience all four seasons and to come up with a detailed and customized plan regarding the transformation of every space. They decided to make the most out of the house’s location: in the middle of the forest, on a hilltop in the region of Rijssen, The Netherlands. They watched the forest come to life in spring, the greenery taking over in summer, the beautiful foliage in autumn and the snow slowly covering the trees in winter. This inspired them to focus a lot on the views.
The house has no need for air-conditioning systems or sun protection and the reason for that is its well-balanced and well-structured interior. There are basically two main sections. The East-facing half of the house is mostly closed and featuring dark stucco walls and a two-storey structure. The West-facing half is fully opened to the surroundings and has full-height windows that let in the light and the views as well as a single floor.
The two sections meet at the center, where the front door acts as a buffer between them. A set of terraced stairs traverse the garden and offer a path to the house. This is also the point where the transition from one floor to a two-level structure is made. To the East, you have the home office and a two-cat garage situated on the lower level and the bedrooms above them and to the West there’s a single-storey volume which houses the social spaces. A concrete deck ensures a smooth transition between the interior living spaces and the garden. It can be accessed through bi-fold glass doors.
A lot of though also went into making the house energy-neutral as well as comfortable for another 50 years. It has a heat-recovery system, triple glazing, high-quality insulation, LED light fixtures throughout as well as energy-efficient appliances.