1976 – Janssen House

The house belonging to the Janssen family is set in the wooded dunes between Haarlem and Zandvoort. The surroundings and differences in height of the terrain played a major role in its design. Once again, the house is all but sealed tot the street, but opens up at the rear to the garden.

The plan is symmetrical in layout with four parallel walls, decreasing in length towards the garden, and dividing the rooms into three zones. On the side facing the street the house has two levels, the upper storey containing the bedrooms. Here the facade is high and relatively closed within the centre a narrow set-back strip containing the entrance. On the garden side, the house has a low facade with a large living room window, looking out onto an ornamental pond. The zone separating the high and low sections of the building is covered by a sloping roof. The rooms below receive additional daylight through a pair of roof lights projecting above the front facade. The glass applied everywhere ensures that the rest of the building, too, receives daylight in abundance. The profusion of loopholes forms a striking aspect of the interior. The rooms are interconnected by sliding partitions, which when opened up, strengthen the house’s transparent character and link the spaces indoors with the garden. The site’s differences in level were turned to advantage by designing a large basement below the living floor containing garage, workrooms, and storerooms. In 1987, an underground swimming-pool was added alongside the house. Both the final details and the furnishing are the work of the family itself, in consultation with the architect. Decisive to the look of the interior are the rough walls of undressed light grey concrete block and the floor of small tiles, also in grey.