De Kort Van Schaik.

House on the Raboes

In the far north-eastern corner of the Eemnesserpolder, where the River Eem flows into the lake of the same name, De Kort Van Schaik designed a country retreat that serves as a tranquil haven, where the hustle and bustle of the city can be exchanged for the peace and quiet of nature. The house enables its occupants to enjoy the surrounding polder landscape to the full, while simultaneously providing a cloistered environment to which they can retreat. In dialogue with the clients, it was decided that the desired open character of the house, and the manner in which it provided shelter from the elements, should feel like a woollen coat: not hi-tech but natural, warm, soft, robust, textured and tactile.

The seemingly monolithic house stands like a boulder in the flat expanse of grassland. The entrance is not immediately visible, and the house appears to have its back turned to the visitor. Closer to, however, three chimneys reveal that the house consists of not one, but three loosely grouped volumes held together by three covered terraces. The T-shaped space between the volumes forms the heart of the house, but there is also a strong visual connection with the outdoors. From this interspace you can enter the different volumes, each containing a number of distinct rooms. Here the clearly defined skirtings, windowsills, window and door frames contribute to the feeling of enclosure. Large square windows, which can slide away completely into the wall, frame the view of the surroundings.

All the energy used on the Raboes is locally generated. The heat needed for the house and the swimming pool is produced with the help of a heat pump that uses the surface water of the lake. The considerable thermal mass of the concrete, and the low-temperature underfloor heating, ensure a stable indoor climate. In the most-frequented rooms wood-burning stoves, fuelled with estate-grown timber, provide readily available extra heating capacity.

A number of expressive objects provide a striking contrast with the restrained architecture of the house. The combined washbasin, shower and bath designed by Sabine Marcelis stands as a free-standing figure in the concrete bathroom. The glazed roof and vertical sliding window make the bathroom feel like an outdoor room. The subtle rotation of the bathroom ensemble is an invitation to take a bath with a view of the surrounding polder landscape by the light of the setting sun.

Eemnes, the Netherlands
Country retreat
Schipper Bosch
Karbouw Bouwonderneming
Studio Sabine Marcelis
Iwan Baan
1st prize BNA Best Building of the year
category ‘Particuliere Woonbeleving’