Groos & Co take inspiration from Mies van der Rohe for riverside house
Groos & Co Architecten, commissioned to design a private retreat on the banks of a waterway, has recently completed the House on the River Vecht in the province of Utrecht, Netherlands. The brief, given to them by a Dutch real estate developer, specified that the building should be energy efficient and boast a guestroom and bathroom. The developer also asked that the designers take inspiration from Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House when planning the appearance of the house.
The house sits within natural woodland and an arboretum of considerable age. Groos & Co built the house on a site that was formerly occupied by a derelict bungalow and replaced it with an L-shaped fold on a recessed shoebox shaped base.
The main floor is set slightly above the landscape; the guestroom and service areas are recessed and partly sunk into the ground. Two stairs allow for a route which curves through the building, unfolding a sequence of different perspectives of the woods and the arboretum. The two-fold glass sliding doors and the ample terraces around the house create a continuous domestic space which make inside and outside hard to distinguish. Roof vegetation, high performance insulation and state of the art climate control ensure a small carbon footprint.