Villa van Diepen, Almere

Private Villa, Almere NL, Project Team: René van Zuuk, Client: van Diepen family, Design: 1995, Completion: 1996, Area 147 m², Volume 450 m³

Out of all the locations in the Filmwijk-Zuid area, the Van Diepen family's house plot is the most challenging. In contrast with most of the local plots, this one does not lie close to the waterfront, doesn't have the privacy of a closed street side, and is situated right on a roundabout. Urban planning requirements dictated that the garden should face the east. In order to give the residents the necessary privacy and protect them from the rotating and shining car headlights, the house is designed with a stronghold in mind.

Standing at a height of 4 meters, the house is an introverted brick box with openings that resemble ''loopholes''. The family has its living room on the first floor. With the addition of 360-degree windows, the roof seems like it's floating. The bathroom and the bedrooms are located on the ground floor.

The villa had to be built with a very small budget. However, it was possible to provide the living volume with a torsion roof. The surface is supported by six wooden portals. The girders of the portals are wooden beams, clamped between the wooden frames that hold the glass. The horizontal wind load is absorbed by the portals, by fixing the ends of the beams with tension cables on the first floor. Due to the torsion in the roof, the top of the glass strip below had to be cut at an angle. In the corner, an external, concrete staircase leads outside. The stair balustrade turns into a garden wall. The robust, sturdy design, won the architecture prize of Almere in 1999.