Located on a historic road lined by old farms the Veldhuis seeks to be a contextually relevant modern home with traditional references. The typical Dutch barn typology, brick walls with a thatch roof, is modified to fit the needs of the family. The shape of the Veldhuis is an archetypal Dutch farmhouse, of which the height and width is lessened at the rear, allowing three stories in the front part of the house (bedrooms, study and attic) and one in the rear (living and dining). The center of the house is made up of the kitchen, wet room and garage. In order to bring more light into the middle of the living spaces the roof is cut and shifted outwards. The kitchen is pulled out into the garden, splitting the wrap around veranda and allowing views over the whole garden. A solar array is integrated into the roof of the veranda. The rear façade of the Veldhuis is fully glazed and the view is framed by beds of perennial planting and multistem trees which draw the eye to the wildflower meadow and fields beyond.
Developed in conjunction with experts, the buildup of biobased cross laminated timber structure, wood fibre insulation, and local Dutch thatch is fully vapor permeable, the first of its kind in the world. The complex mass timber structure was prefabricated in Germany and erected on site in just 12 days - using 128m3 of wood - a total CO2 compensation of 80,000kg. Running the length of the house a massive earth brick wall, serves as a radiant heating/cooling element, as well as to control the humidity levels indoors. Together the material choices help sustain a comfortable indoor climate through their breathability and regulatory characteristics. This means the building relies less on installation technology, and more on material technology – offering a directly noticeable naturally comfortable atmosphere. Heating and cooling are provided by a ground source heat pump. The exterior bricks, the smallest IJsselsteen format, are made of local clay at nearby brickmaker. Around the doors and windows specially glazed bricks accentuate the colored “shutters”, which are openable. Windows are fixed, triple glazed and set in bespoke solid oak window frames which are sealed with a clear finish so the wood grain remains visible. The interiors of the Veldhuis use a subtle color palette: white clay plaster walls and whitewashed CLT contrast with the oak floors and window frames. The geometry of the structure creates surprising and varied spaces as you move through the home.
The layout of the home is flexible: it’s possible to live solely on the ground floor in retirement, to split the house to make a separate granny flat, or even separate the combined plots and develop another house on the adjacent land in the future, makes the design future-proof. The garden (formerly a grass field) is designed around twelve newly planted large mature trees. It includes beds of perennial plants, a lawn, small water feature, an orchard, and a wildflower meadow.