How do you make a country house meld into its natural surroundings? Why you bury it in a hill. At least that is what Denieuwegeneratie has done with their somewhat hyperbolically named new house, Dutch Mountain.
The house is situated in a hilly woodland forest reserve. In order to help the house blend into the surroundings, the northern facade was buried into hill. This has the dual purposes of providing mass, for heat capture and insulation, and camouflage. The glazed southern facade opens up to the sun and idyllic fields. This facade is framed in a larch profile that creates a terrace and a canopy to protect against the summer sun. The angular lines of the man made exterior read like fissures in the earth, emphasizing the alpine theme.
The interior finishes are flush with the exterior and take their cue from raw nature, with concrete floors and walls and wooden window frames. The interior space, a cavern in a hill, is braced from above with steel crosses to allow for as little built up space as possible inside and the rooms are irregularly stacked light wooden structures. This means that the interior space can easily be reprogrammed as the need to make changes in the living space arises in the future. While the hardware of this villa is all business; steel, concrete and larch sourced from the surrounding fields, the fittings are decidedly fun. Skateboard-deck steps lead up to a kitchen with a cabinet created from a car flipped upright.
With its green credentials, adaptability and maximization of the advantages of the country, this villa may be molehill is scale, but is certainly mountain in spirit.