On the Dune

House in Hoek van Holland, Rotterdam
2010 – built
Client: Fam. Helderman

When you go to the beach of Hoek van Holland, it is very likely you will pass villa On the Dune on your way.
The house immediately attracts the attention from its spot on top of the dune. When walking around, at every turn the building volume gets a new, surprising form. The diamond-shaped floor plan and the folded roof give the house a lively appearance. The clear bearing structure, transverse to the east – and west facades, allows for large openings in these facades.

The facades of white glazed brick with fine seams rest on a rough concrete plinth that acts as a retaining wall. The plinth is pushed into the dune and houses the ground floor. A large window in the void provides part of the ground floor with natural light. This floor, which houses facilities for guests, is directly accessible through the back door.
At split level is the living room, partially submerged in the dune. In this way, the dune offers a degree of privacy to the living room which is located on the street side. On the west side of the living room the plinth pushes the dune away and creates an enclosed outdoor space. The living room widens towards this outdoor space, embracing it as being part of the living room itself.

The main entrance is on the first floor and reached by walking the stairs up the dune. Both entrances are situated in the middle of the house as well as the stairs. The spacious kitchen is centrally located on the first floor. On the northern side is the conservatory, overlooking the quiet terrace. Here, inside and outside fade smoothly into one another. The second floor houses the master bedroom, a small bathroom and an attic.

The height differences play an important role in the design, both outside and inside. The different levels in and on the dune give every space a unique character. Walking through the house, one experiences enclosed spaces, openness, light and dark. At the highest point in the house, the loggia, one experiences the climax; a fantastic panoramic view towards the dunes.