This hide out is embedded in the pastoral landscape of the Maas River Valley near the German border in the village of Vortum Mullum, an old Roman settlement.
We tried to avoid making the standard typology of a pavilion: a floor sheet and a roof sheet with glass in-between. Instead we made a sequence; an approach in steps, culminating in a panoramic experience, and we tried to make the roof less obvious.
The pavilion has a zoned plan lay-out with two rooms that can be combined to make one space if required. We embedded the space to blend harmoniously with the landscape by sinking it into the soil. When seated, the surrounding landscape is at eye level. Below grade it consists of cast concrete, like an excavated historic site of an ancient Roman villa.
All materials and details are as simple and down to earth as possible. Glass is mounted at top and bottom to avoid any vertical frames. The roof disappears in-between a green layer of vines and an abstract white ceiling of corrugated steel. The concrete floor and white corrugated ceiling, kept apart by thin steel columns, create an extended space merging inside and outside. By doing this, we give to a standard industrial corrugated product an architectural status. Rainwater is spread over the cantilever of the corrugated sheet to make a water curtain at the end of the terrace.
When approaching the pavilion, one first sees an old overgrown garden wall. It is only after descending the hidden stairs that one discovers the space and its panoramic view over the surrounding landscape. From the terrace, the garden slopes up from the sunken level to the fruit trees of a small orchard.
But what is this small and abstract mysterious gold volume in front of the garden wall?
© MONOLAB ARCHITECTS