House Riel Estate completed in 2014 is located in a new residential development in the small Dutch village of Riel near the town Tilburg. The property conforms with its archetypal main structure and materialization with the rural character of the village and the surrounding countryside; a main building with a lopsided gable roof, rural hand-moulded bricks and heavy oak doors. The materials used are traditional in the Brabant region and were used in the past for typical long farmhouses and castles. My clients, Jeroen Krijnen and Marjel Haring, asked me to design an exciting house. They are both architecture lovers and asked for something traditionally build (Jeroen is also the contractor of the house) with solid building materials, but out of the ordinary.
In the province of Brabant, where the dwelling is situated, it is customary to enter through the back door. By seperating kitchen and living room from each other, a separation is also made between the formal entrance and the informal back door. Also arise an afternoon and evening terrace. Coming through the backdoor is a sign of hospitality. You can feel free to come in; the door is always open for visitors. The staircase is located in the intermediate zone between kitchen and living room. It rises up along the gentle slope of the roof and ensures a clear connection between the ground floor and upstairs. The presence of this stairs is further emphasized by the skylight above it folding over the roof which ensures light gliding down the stairs. An asymmetric sculptural play of mass and openness is created by tilting the roof and also with the masonry giving the impression of heavy solid walls. The minimalist detailing of the house reinforces this and provides a powerful clarity. Riel Estate winks with her outspoken styling to the pavilions in the German Insel Hombroich where the house is inspired by.