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Ohé en Laak

2021   /   2022

The newly purchased, 1 story house - located in a quiet area with a breathtaking view of the countryside - had been empty for several years. Built on the edge of a residential neighbourhood, at the end of the 90s, in its outdated yellow and red bricks facade, the solitary villa looked unattractive and cheap to the inexperienced eye. Internally unfinished by the previous owner, the building never reached a fully developed architectural character.

But the creative eyes of the new owners saw in this sadly “abandoned” building a lot of potentials, and a perfect chance for a fresh new start, so they purchased the villa in 2020. A new challenge had started and we were invited to join and guid the creative process. The internal space was strangely fragmented and needed to be reorganised, to provide a more open and organic use of the space, and to accentuate all the potentiality of the house: a beautiful view, towards the front facade, and a quiet back yard. Moreover, an extension needed to be made for hosting visitors and grandchildren, and new hobby space and sculptural garden needed to be included.

The house was further in need of an upgrade from an energetic standpoint, integrating wall and roof isolation and the application of a new heating floor, solar panels and provision for water infiltration in the ground. To start with, we began reorganising the internal space by creating a strong routing. A new main entrance axis was fully redesigned and made visible and accessible both from the street side and from the garage.

The internal spaces have been fully redeveloped and redesigned. The living kitchen has become the heart, the crucial meeting point for all the visitors to the house. By demolishing several internal walls, this zone is now fully accessible from all sides of the house and has an open view of the countryside, and direct access to the terras on the back. The night zone is private, and therefore located at the back of the house. The master bedroom is integrated with an attached bathroom. The office/hobby rooms are all at the front of the house and facing the entrance / the street.

The living room has a more quiet and intimate function and is placed on the highest split level of the house, set apart, yet overviewing the kitchen, and visually connected to the terras on the back.

Project team: Laura Piovan (ArCharis Architecture), Jo Janssen (Jo Janssen Architecten)

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