In a woodland outside of Waalre, a town just south of the design-hub Eindhoven, London-based architect Russell Jones has designed ‘Villa Waalre’, a white concrete home whose relationship with the landscape is artfully negotiated.
Waalre might be known for being the richest village in the Netherlands, but its status as a groenfontein (green fountain) is equally impressive: Here, public policy has ensured a diverse tree population in the urban center and surrounds. Both of these facts are evident in ‘Villa Waalre’, the home is set amongst an impenetrable forest of green and was constructed on a site that previously bore a property designed by Philips’ design director, Louis Christiaan Kalff.
Desiring the property to be “a legible, sculptural, liveable and environmentally responsive form”, Russell Jones has designed a space that features an abundance of natural materials and textures. Constructed from board-marked white concrete that has been left untreated both inside and out of the home, the rough quality of the building is offset by fir wood paneling, fittings in marble, and stone floors.
Arranged across four levels, with two carefully hidden below the ground, the angular form of the white concrete villa contrasts strongly against the landscape. The ground floor houses sizeable living areas, and the top floor the bedrooms, study and a gallery space. Below the ground floor, a tunnel extends beneath a sand dune, connecting the building and carport with the street. But perhaps the most impressive architectural moment in ‘Villa Waalre’ is its underground swimming pool, illuminated by light shafts that open the subterranean space to the sky.
All images © Rory Gardiner