A new beginning
01 May 2024

A new beginning

Philip and his family were looking for a place to build a home for themselves as well as for his in-laws. They wanted to live near each other but each with enough space for themselves. Their search uncovered an available parcel of land. It was idyllic as it had the potential for building four houses. Located on the outskirts of Bunschoten in the vast polder, the land parcel has a breathtaking panorama surrounded by islands and vast meadows. The neighbouring stables with a view of horses, sheep, alpacas and the occasional birds of prey flying overhead from a local falcon farm really up the rural charm of this location.

Perfect balance between individuality and oneness

Successful negotiations led to the signing of an agreement in 2020. Bunschoten-based architect Michiel Blokker took on the task of designing their homes. His design for four unique homes creates a perfect balance between individuality and oneness. Each house is unique in character, while the common elements provide visual unity. For example, panels of the same type of wood were chosen for doors and windows. There are no surrounding houses, which made it possible to incorporate large windows. This allows residents to enjoy unobstructed views of the surrounding polder landscapes. Each house has continuous windows at the front and back, stretching floor to ceiling. The outbuildings are uniformly finished in dark anthracite while the façade cladding differs for each house. The roof covering varies from roof tiles to thatch, which gives each house its own identity. This project was expertly carried out by the Heijnen Bouw building company.

Philip tells all

“The architect’s choice of our facing brick took inspiration from the Museum Kolumba in Cologne (a museum of ecclesiastical art, originally in St Columba Church). It has long light-grey facing bricks. At first, we wanted the exact same brick, but that was really expensive. In the brick shop, we looked at all kinds of alternatives from different suppliers. Joseph Bricks ‘Michael’ facing brick caught my eye right away. It’s an exclusive product with a unique colour combination. This exclusive light grey and subtly blended long-format facing brick stands out right away in the brick trade because of its unique colour combination and quality. It was a great help we were able to try out the samples with the grouting and masonry methods on a test board. It gave us a better idea of what it would look like overall. The bricks are staggered without a butt joint with a light subtle grout colour. The Joseph Bricks brick is about half as long as the one used at the Kolumba Museum. But then I saw the Kolumba Museum in Cologne the other day and realised the final look was a better fit for us. I also got a real kick from the fact that this brick is from Belgium, just like me.”

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