The Villa Sterk is a 5,059sqft home located in Bentebok, The Netherlands, just north of Heerenveen. Designed by Inbo, the home is a modern composition of concrete finished with a natural white stone or stucco. High efficiency glazings allow for long expanses of windows to enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding landscape while the heat and cold storage in the ground removes the necessity for gas. The architects also designed the home with a series of long narrow strips of solar collectors in the landscaped garden to reduce the home’s footprint on the environment.
The architects designed the home to be long and narrow to take advantage of the views on both sides of the site. Surrounded by a wall of trees, the residence is hidden from the road but visible to the home on the neighbouring site. The privacy of the location allowed the architects to expose the inner volumes of the home to the landscape with its walls of glass.
The Villa Sterk sits centrally within the lot allowing for sweeping vistas on both sides. Access to the home is via a long lane flanked on one side by a row of trees.
The residence sits across the full width of the lot, which is divided into a courtyard on the entrance side and an open landscape garden on the other. The solar panels are able to take full advantage of the sun by being positioned on a slight slope within the pastures.
The home is also positioned to expose itself to the landscape and not to the neighbours on the next lot. The ends of the home are closed and private and this privacy is expanded upon with the use of privacy walls extending out from the facade of the home.
The privacy walls extend quite a distance into the landscape but are unobtrusive in their design. With the home’s facade long and narrow, the privacy walls simply act as a continuation of the facade.
There is a privacy wall on both ends of the home, creating a symmetrical pattern to the silhouette of the home.
The entrance to the Villa Sterk opens up to the living area of the social zone and with the two long lengths of the home covered in glazings, the uninterrupted views create the effect of living outdoors. The living area is separated from the dining room by two rectangular columns, one of which holds a two sided fireplace. Beyond the dining room is the kitchen.
The dining room consists of a peninsula table that juts out at right angles from the kitchen island. The island has a raised backsplash to create a visual break fro the kitchen area and the back of the island features open shelving in the same material as the dining room tabletop. The kitchen and the rooms beyond (a study and spare room) float within the centre of the home with walkways on both sides, allowing the landscape to continue uninterrupted through the wall of glazings.
The study is lined on two sides with books and on the other two with views. A Lucite desk is used so as not to block the vistas. What a fantastic place to work, private yet so open, simply awesome.
The study is given some soundproofing through the use of interior glass panels.
On the other side of the living room is where the Master Suite is located. Since this area is a private zone, the interior walls extend to the glazings on both sides with the use of glass partitions.
The bedroom has access to the outside through its own sliding glass panel and the homeowners don’t have to worry about sight lines from the neigbours if they choose to step outside at night thanks to the clever use of the privacy wall.
With the privacy wall eliminating the sight line from the neigbours, the architects where able to design each zone of the ensuite to be open to the views. Even the toilet has view to the gardens – although it maintains its privacy from the rest of the bathroom and the bedroom.
Then there’s the soaker tub, tucked into a corner of glass creating the ultimate in luxury soaking.
Its as though the soaker tub is outside, simply stunning.
With the home long and narrow, guests sitting on the deck outside the social zone are far enough away from the Master suite that the view of the tub is not noticed.
There is a second bathroom on the other side of the main volume just past the study and spare room. This main volume is one of two with the second accessed from an underpass to the main volume. In this second location is both storage and an atelier.
The atelier is a workshop, craft room and here the homeowners can explore their creative sides.
Photography by Auke van der Weide