Villa Waalre

Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Russell Jones
Rory Gardiner

A lawn chair is placed to overlook the green surface of perfectly mowed grass. Through the full-height glass windows, its reflection creates a symmetry that mirrors the surrounding woodland. The majestic fir trees create a textural background to a volume of intersecting masses made of white concrete. Villa Waalre emerges from the curtains of trees like a contemporary sculpture hidden from views.

Designed by Russell Jones, the poetic of time in Villa Waalre lies in its context. The minimal abode is constructed with precast concrete, held together by planks of nearby fir trees. Their seams create a pleat-like curtain to the facade, softening the material with an illusion of flowing fabric covering all sides.

This treatment is also applied on the interior, resonating with the mold that once assembled the structure. A sense of the past is present throughout, igniting a nostalgia at moments where a thin veil flutters in the tundra wind, where a strip of skylight shines onto carefully arranged artworks, where a shadow of an outer canopy casts its shadow onto the kitchen floor.

With large rectangular openings, the residence visually invites in nature to further embrace its environment. The trees' organic lines contrast the geometric interior, bringing a deep green colour to the grey hue that constitutes the inside. Wooden furniture occasionally breaks the consistency of starkness with its brown patterns. Where the kitchen situates, slabs of white marble with artistic motifs compose stoic appliances. They add a complex depth to material usage, standing as pieces of art installations.

Underneath the structure, a large pool makes its theatrical appearance. Its silent surface draws melancholic emotions, captured with a glowing light that symmetrically echoes to infinity. The body of water holds in heat, evaporates overtime to counter dry winters. Here, the pool is no longer constricted within a space; it becomes the space itself, filling the below with its tidal flows.

Although Villa Waalre is embedded with advanced building technology, its unseen presence gives the entire space a minimal outlook. The force of time seems to be carried throughout, lying in each line where a precast seam is seen. In serenity, the abode rests among nature like an admirable creature hiding in the woodland.

In the shop