Although their partially underground design of the cheapest house possible, Polder 360, was somewhat of a joke, Powerhouse's Villa 1 is no laughing matter. Also part-subterranean, Villa 1 is a two-story residence that takes full advantage of the natural elements available in its Dutch setting, and of modern concepts in architecture.
The main floor plan is a Y-shape with living spaces extending off of a central hallway, and outdoor living spaces providing clean lines that connect the extremities directly to one another.
From above ground, Villa 1 is an immaculate home with a see-through view from front to back. The vast expanses of glass to the front and rear of the upper floor gives the appearance that the owners live right out in the open, with nothing to hide.
In stark contrast, the so-called medieval basement (aka first floor of the home) is completely submerged in the earth, offering the ultimate in residential privacy.
The basement can be entered through the garage, which looks like a reflective space capsule. The rest of the lower floor is likewise very futuristic in appearance, with lots of curves, irregular angles and artificial lighting. This floor contains the home’s one bedroom along with a walk-in closet, bathroom and storage areas. Although its design is bunker-style in elevation, its décor suggests something much more intimate.
Emerging back on a terrainian level, the owners can once again feel a connection with the earth and more natural elements. The décor above ground is very minimal with furnishings that do their best to be discreet and unobtrusive.
While portions of the top floor deserve an element of privacy, the architects still maintain that sense of connectedness with nature through reflective surfaces that mirror the wooded scenery.
Although the house is simple in design, it provides a clear dichotomy between living with nature and concealing yourself in modern concepts.
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