Villa Cascade in Almere, Netherlands: Architecture creates dialogue between nature and urban feeling
For Villa Cascade, CROSS Architecture has developed a terraced building structure with an inner courtyard that opens onto the adjoining waters. A total of 29 apartments of various sizes have been built on five floors. The modern city villa is located in Almere Poort in the Netherlands.
As the newest district of Almere, Poort differs from its neighbouring districts: Not only single-family houses are planned, but also a wide variety of high-density multi-family houses will dominate the picture in the future. Villa Cascade is located at the interface of green surroundings and adjacent water routes. An attractive location, not only because of its park character, but also because of its immediate proximity to Amsterdam and the unique view of the metropolis skyline.
"A city villa was to be built here that would incorporate the surrounding green landscape," explains Marcel Blom, Founding Partner CROSS architecture Amsterdam. Villa Cascade is a compact apartment building based on four equally sized blocks arranged around a courtyard. The overall structure of the villa results from a step-like stacking of the floors. The highest point with five floors faces south, towards Almere. The lowest point of the structure with the height of one floor faces north and opens to the water side. This is where the spacious garden terraces of the 75 to 125 sqm apartments are located. From this perspective, the cascade shape becomes clear - and the water never lies in the shade of the house throughout the day.
Open court forms community
The inner courtyard is only accessible to the residents of the villa and represents the central entrance to the apartments via open staircases and the elevator tower. It is a private, secluded place that at the same time conveys a sense of the city: It is a space for social interaction, where the residents meet daily. This concept is underlined by a warm materiality and naturalness: The interior facades and the lift tower are made entirely of wood. The court is laid out like an urban square, greened and equipped with wooden benches. This atmosphere invites you to linger.
Complementary contrast and regional building material
In contrast, the outside of the building is covered with bright red brick. It is Groninger clay, a special building material from the Netherlands. Its structured surface creates a soft and at the same time intensive colour effect. The structure of the bricks also underlines the horizontal orientation of the individual floors. Only the door-like entrance to the inner courtyard is visually contrasted by a minimal, finely nuanced deviation in materiality: here the red stone has a smooth surface. The dark grey framed, floor- deep windows are used in two widths. Its rhythmic arrangement subtly accentuates the terrace shape of the villa.
In relation to the surrounding complementary green landscape, the red villa sets a striking sign from afar and grows out of the landscape through its terraced structure. External car ports line the access road to Villa Cascade and offer ample parking space for residents and visitors.
Material Used :
Exterior façade material
1. Façade material: Masonry, waalformaat, wildverband, color orange/red, strengperssteen 33N225, structured
2. Around de entrance: Masonry, waalformaat, wildverband, color orange/red, strengperssteen 20N241, matte finish
Facade material courtyard:
1. Façade courtyard: Impregnated larch wood parts.
1. Plastic window frames