Private house, Meerkerk
The reinterpretation of a stately Meerkerk (NL) single-family home’s extension first involved an evaluation of the home’s related spaces. At dike level, its main living spaces abut a leafy southwest garden. The concept introduced for its replacement is played out in a gridded sequence of spaces curating the transition from interior to exterior. This series of spaces extends from the main living area to the ground floor and then from indoor ground floor to outdoor garden level, emphasizing a subtle but clear spatial gradient.
The home’s main floor spaces are organized hierarchically; these consist of an informal kitchen, anti-chambre, and spacious living room. The extension of this program is in fact a consolidation. It is at once indoor and outdoor with an adjacent terrace space accommodating extended occupation the seasons incline.
Offering an assertive interpretation of the typology, it is both a connected and independent element, flexible enough to be adapted to multiple purposes and spatial requirements depending on family events, season, condition or mood. As such, it may be viewed as a uniform shell that adapts to various familial needs.
Its construction consists of a table structure that bears the garden room, terrace and its own weight. These forces are directed towards the foundation via a typical arch construction, which facilitates both a clear connection to the space beneath the structure’s table as well as basement floor access.
The juxtaposition of the robustness of the support with the extension’s volume is its principal visual trope, manifested in the contrast between the dramatic red hues of the structure with the semi-opaque mirror box above. The aluminum fenestration in combination with the airy glass facade individuates both the object above and the structure below.
reference thumbnail: John Singer Sarget, "On the Verandah", 1922.