"I have not made any concessions when it comes to the shape of the house"
When Jacobine Hoorntje and her husband were looking for a new home base, they never expected to end up in De Wijk. The pair saw the patio house, which was designed by Arnoud Olie, for the first time in a picture at a broker. They were not immediately taken with they saw, but decided to take a look in the new housing development district Dunningen. They fell in love with the modern home at first sight.
‘We drove to De Wijk on a Sunday to look at the house. I immediately thought, “Wow! This is our home!” The following Monday morning, we went to see the broker and quickly closed the deal,’ Hoorntje explains. When you see the house in its totality, you can understand why the two fell for the unique appearance and structure of the home. ‘It is an exciting design, because you don’t immediately see how it works. It is as if a number of masses are at right angles to each other, floating in the air. You expect it to fall right over in a proper storm.’
At the front, the house doesn’t show all its shapes yet. Each side of the house gives a different perspective on the design, so the house continues to intrigue. What stands out most is the rounded roof slope of the upper floors, which is clad in grey aluminium. The light grey colour stands our against the dark grey bricks and ensures that the round contours of the upper floor stand out even more. ‘When I saw the house for the first time, I thought, “I can’t believe someone could’ve built something so lovely.” I would not have done it any other way.’
The spacious living room is simple and sleek, so that the wooden kitchen attracts the most attention. The household appliances have been banned to the pantry, so that they do not upset the whole. Next to the kitchen is the concrete staircase, which leads to the upper floor. Here is the master bedroom with adjoining bathroom, the study and children’s bedroom with separate shower. In the attic, you will find the pièce de résistance of the house. Here is a space where you can experience the shape of the house intensely. The grey, aluminium walls give the room a futuristic look and the round ceiling makes you feel safe.
Hoorntje has not changed anything about the home since she and her husband moved in 2008. ‘How often does it happen that everything is just right? Even the tiles and the kitchen completely matched our taste. We just replaced the warped kitchen cabinets and made the stairs to the basement more beautiful. We have done this all in consultation with Arnoud, because we were afraid that the adaptations would be at the expense of the design.’ Hoorntje is relieved that she had no influence on the building process of the house. ‘It might have been more convenient if the driveway had been 20 centimetres wider. But Arnoud designed it this way, and did so for a reason. Hoorntje also adapted to the design in other ways. ‘The house comes into its own the most when it is, in a way, empty. That’s why I quickly remove things that are lying around and don’t put down too many decorations. I adapt to the strictness of the house with great love.”
Hoorntje’s home stands out in the neighbourhood, even though there are several modern designs. ‘I think the house fits in the plan well. It brings connection and cohesion to the whole.’ However, it took a while for the residents of the neighbourhood to get used to the house. ‘There were people who found the house simply ugly. The lady next door didn’t understand why the architect designed it this way. But they do see how we enjoy the house.’
The garden wall at the front of the patio offers shelter and privacy to the family. The slit in the wall ensures that the residents do not lose contact with the environment. ‘Next to the patio at the front side, we also have an enormous back garden at our disposal. We have kept this very calm, just as we did when decorating the house. The hedges provide a feeling of privacy.’
For more information, visit the project page.