Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects
and Marc Koehler Architects


Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

This corner house by Sophie Valla Architects and Marc Koehler Architects is the latest of 670 architect-designed homes to be completed at a new development masterplanned by architects MVRDV in Leiden, the Netherlands.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

Called Twisted Corner, the home is part of the Nieuw Leyden district, located on the site of a former slaughterhouse. See more Dezeen stories about houses in Nieuw Leyden.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

The house comprises three floors that differ in plan to create the irregular angles of the facade.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

Grey panels in graduating shades give the false impression of a shadow on the house exterior.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

More stories about Dutch houses on Dezeen »

Photography is by Luuk Kramer.

Here are some more details from Sophie Valla:

Twisted Corner

In Leiden (Netherlands), private commissioning was chosen for the development of the residential area Nieuw Leyden on the former slaughterhouse site. For the house in the corner plot that the studio Sophie Valla Architects was asked to design, the corner was chosen as starting point and inspiration. The end result offers the inhabitants an unexpected sense of space and changing views.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

For this high density area bordering the city centre, MVRDV in Rotterdam conceived a master plan based on a double ground level: closed building blocks on half sunken parking-lots. This allowed for a densely built neighbourhood, but green and with little traffic. A common coordinator, contractor and advisors worked on each building block. Then each plot owner was able to design his house according to his own needs and wishes.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

The house was built for a young family. From the beginning, the value of the corner position of the plot was fully exploited. The clients were extensively involved in the conception and building process, watching over and nourishing the tectonic quality of the design.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

The lateral façade of the house ending the block presents an intriguing and dynamic play of lines and volume. This is brought about by shifts in the orientation of the façade at each of the three floors. A 'transformation' of the geometry of the front and back façades over the length of this side is thereby created. Four supporting columns in the house are freeing the lateral façade from its load bearing function, enabling this free play.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

Click above for larger image

The horizontal transformation is accompanied over the whole façade by a vertical articulation of the surface panelling and of the window frames. The high and narrow windows on this wall not only emphasise the vertical articulation; from the inside they also give clearly framed views while their form limits the possibility of looking in.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

On the ground floor, bordered by a pedestrian street and the park, is a playroom for the children. The living space is on the first floor. The large window at the front looks into the park, creating a spacious quality inside and offering interesting perspectives to the park.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects


The façades were executed with prefabricated wooden frame panels.
Panels of Eternit in different shades of grey were used to cover the façades. The distribution of the greys accentuates the flowing transformation on the lateral façade and reduces the cutting loss of the Eternit to a minimum. The extra thick seams between the panels, as well as the heavily profiled wooden window frames, accentuate the vertical articulation of this façade.

Twisted Corner by Sophie Valla Architects

Private house in Nieuw Leyden, Leiden

Address: Alexander Gogelstraat 6, 2316 DV Leiden
Client: Floor en Barry Pepers
Design: Sophie Valla architects in collaboration with Marc Koehler architects
Project architect and realisation: Sophie Valla architects
Team: Wouter Hendrikson, Petr Ulrich
Construction advisor: Buro Broersma
Installations advisor: S&W, van Leeuwen
Contractor: KbK Bouw
Bruto surface: 233 m2
Netto surface: 122 m2
Completion: February 2011

  • mik

    this is one of the reasons that makes me want to stop doing architecture.
    Dezeen. can you dream of something like Dezeen X. where no japanese projects get in or interior decorations whatever. We want to see a real selection. And this is nothing at all. This is depressing. Dezeen was not like this.
    Dezeen. Be more strict. you don’t need to go crazy like only publish zumthor.
    By the way, I hate zumthor.
    Why is it so forbiden to hate zumthor?

    • iag

      Maybe you didn't get into architecture for the right reasons… if you are so easily offended by this?

      Dezeen is not your personal blog aimed only at you. Many people use this site for the precise reasons you dislike it.

      Why hate Zumthor? Such a strong emotion. Did he bully you as a child?
      May i suggest perhaps using the energy you spend hating instead on positive things you don't hate?

      In the words of Mr Halpern;
      "Don't focus on the one guy who hates you. You don't go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog sh*t."

      May i suggest a radical idea? Finding an alternate blog that caters to your specific tastes?

  • Shell

    Thats a very dynamic facade. I really like it. Window treatment seems a bit clumsy, but nevertheless, I like it.

  • bird

    there are many projects in south-east asia that are more worthy of mention

    • Davros

      Am i missing something? This project is in the Netherlands…