The turf roof is typically Scandinavian. Until the late 19th century it was the most common roof type for rural homes in this region and although they drastically lost popularity over the years, you can still find the occasional modern home which includes this feature in its design. One such residence can be found on a plot near Rotterdam. Strict local planning regulations dictated a maximum volume of 1,000 cubic meters and the presence of a sloping roof. Figuring out the rest of the details was up to the architects and Fillie Verhoeven did a great job at blending modern design elements with references to the local vernacular and the area’s agricultural heritage.
The overall form and the exterior design of the house suggest a strong reference to rural barns. However, the offset roofline and the modest and minimalistic aesthetic suggest a contemporary approach. The architects focused on maximizing the available space on the lot while keeping the interior within the limits set by the planning regulations. Instead of a classic sloping roof they created an asymmetric design which allows the house to accommodate two levels on one side and a single-story volume on the other.
The house is clad entirely in blackened timber and this comes as a response to the owner’s preference for a bold yet modest and simple design. The interior is spacious and open. The load-bearing walls are capable of supporting the roof on their own and this eliminated the need for any structural columns, reducing the clutter and division of the spaces significantly. As mentioned before, the house has large openings on each side. The entrance has this large glazed wall and door which can be concealed with a sliding wooden panel whenever privacy is required or when the house remains unoccupied. The living area has this really large sliding door which measures around 10 meters and features two 20 mm glass panels that weigh over 500 kg each.
There are no balconies, terraces or patios. The house is a single compact structure, a monolithic structure which stands out through its minimalism a=but which also blends in with the landscape thanks to its green roof. The unique combination of rustic and contemporary elements as well as minimalist and elaborate details give this project a lot of character and help distinguish it from all neighboring properties.