Needles to say that the way façades are dreamt up and built in the end carry messages. They can be considered as signatures of their architect creators. At the same time, façades tell a lot about the neighboring environment, the culture and values of people who inhabit that area. We all know that Holland has plenty of contemporary buildings with truly amazing façades. This country is a paradise for architects as well as home seekers to unleash their creative forces.
Dutch architecture office GAAGA is well-know for its unconventional approach to residential housing projects. The company likes to develop unique homes for its clients and had already created a number of interesting living spaces in its home town, Leiden. A recent project by the office – also located in Leiden – is another good example for implementing unusual architectural solution and craftsmanship. The name Stripe House tells a lot about the main concept and idea: hundreds of horizontal stripes are carved deep into the façade of the building. This little house is located in a new urban planning area of the city and sits on a rather small area. In spite of the limited plot, the space is used very intelligently respecting the surrounding green park and nice views. One quarter of the total plot was reserved for a tiny patio that creates a gentle transition from the neighboring public spaces. The house resembles a cube and offers modern living spaces spread across three levels. Climbing higher towards the third floor increases the private nature of the home. This means that the working and office areas reside on the ground floor. The second level comprises the kitchen, lounge, living and dining spaces, while the top floor offers a bathroom and two bedrooms. It’s also important to highlight the huge void along the north façade, too. This architectural solution links the upper floors together creating a cozy interior. One can also notice that Stripe House doesn’t have too many windows. However, the ones that are present are enormous and allow plenty of daylight to enter to the home.
Lastly, let’s look at the façade once again: the horizontal grooves in the plaster might be the most unique characteristics of the entire home. Believe it or not, the 7000 meters of grooves are all hand-made and were carved into a semi-hardened plaster by using several moulds. All in all, impressive craftsmanship, amazing architecture and 100% Dutch design are maybe the best words to describe the essence of Stripe House.