Villa in the Dunes

Hoek van Holland, NL

When does a house become a work of art?

Hoek van Holland

Villa in the dunes

An art-loving couple bought a beautiful plot in the dunes of the Hook of Holland. The existing bungalow had to be replaced by a new villa, which also had to provide space for their art collection.

After a joint visit with the client to Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea in Noormarkku, Finland, the assignment was increasingly to design a real Gesamtkunstwerk in which life, art and architecture merge.

A stone’s throw from the villa are remnants of the Atlantic Wall – an inevitable source of inspiration for the design.

Life, art and architecture merge in the villa

The design is a stack of three worlds: a ‘bunker’, half buried in the dune, with guest accommodation; a patio bungalow with the living quarters on top of that; and, as a crowning achievement, a closed private domain.

Typology, routing and the use of materials contain plenty of references to examples from architectural history, especially the interwar period – the period that is also central to the art collection of the client.


Ground floor

First floor

Second floor

Villa in the Dunes

The Villa in de Duinen (‘villa in the dunes’) in the Hook of Holland, is designed for a couple. Their wish: a house in a dune landscape. A redesigned, sloping dune landscape is draped around the house. This creates accesses to the landscape at different levels.

The main floor is on a concrete plinth containing the entrance. The concrete bunker, half buried in a dune, houses a guest house with its own front door and facilities. On the top floor, the couple sleep in a modest bedroom with access to a terrace. A roof staircase offers views of the sea. Two stairwells and several access points to the outside make endless routes possible.

Simplicity is not a feature of this house. The pleasure lies in all the interwoven layers. The house offers a bunker, a patio house, a bungalow and a canal house, a ‘Mies’, a ‘Loos’, a House X and a Maison à Bordeaux. Not as a postmodern act, but in the form of archetypal transformations. This sounds pompous, yet it isn’t. It’s just the way this house came to be.


Villa in the Dunes
Hoek van Holland, NL
500 m²
Christian Richters
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