Client: confidential
Site: peripherie of Eindhoven
Design: Monolab, team: J.W. van Kuilenburg, L. Veeger, W. Hoogerwerf with N. Vauth, K. Walsh
Year: 2002


…no style, beyond taste


Our clients are living in the South of Holland on the periphery of Eindhoven, on a green sloping carpet. The site is part of a strip of villas along a post-war residential quarter. The clients asked us to compete with five more offices in designing a villa for the family (two parents, four kids). The new villa would replace their existing house. The parents worried about their difference in taste: nostalgic (she) versus modern (he).


We decided to go beyond taste. Matters of taste should not be given a chance to disturb, erode -and in the end- block the design process. We tried to overcome taste by using only natural elements to conceive the villa. The present site already offers a large garden (45 x 100-m.) with a slightly sloping grass carpet and a spread of full-grown trees. We decided to power it by earthly and unexpected elements like rocks, to charge the contextual atmosphere. These rocks would be hollow to contain program.


We placed a wooden block on top of the rocks. It will protect the open living space below. The program is subsequently split in several parts: roughly a more open world in the garden – and a more private world in the block, one level up.


The villa is pushed towards the street to create an open social face. This will keep the garden undisturbed. We puncture the private world in the block by a slit to allow sunlight between the rocks and we make a skin that partly unfolds three patios, for the parents, for the two elder and for the two younger kids. The patio for the parents connects bedand bathroom and is dominated by an open fireplace. The patios unfold their facades, opening up to terraces on the flattop rocks. The program is split into four parts. Three combined rocks contain the garage/party space, the swimming pool/gym and the library. The fourth programmatical part is the open space for living, kitchen-island, dining, etc. The three rocks are positioned carefully to create space below and next to the hovering block. The rocks can slope up and/or cantilever. The only rock to puncture the block is the library. Its top is glazed and opens up to the day and night skies. Its shelves trace the interior surface of the rock. The fourth rock floats free in the south part of the garden and serves as an annex for visitors.