Dutch Mountain by


Slideshow: Amsterdam design studio Denieuwegeneratie have buried a woodland villa beneath a mound of earth at a Dutch nature reserve.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The manmade hill disguises the building on its northern facade and creates a blanket of insulation around the walls during colder months.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

Entitled Dutch Mountain, the house emerges from the hill on the southern and western sides, where a panelled wall of glazing folds around a staggered living room and kitchen.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

Bedrooms, bathrooms and utility rooms are stacked up at the rear of the house in front of an exposed concrete wall that separates them from the piled-up earth behind.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

A reconditioned car with its engine removed is positioned vertically against the walls of the kitchen to function as a bookshelf and cabinet.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

We've featured a few interesting Dutch houses on Dezeen over the last few years - see them all here.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

Exterior photography is by John Lewis Marshall, while interior photography is by Jaap Vliegenthart.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

Here's a description of the project from Denieuwegeneratie:

Dutch Mountain

The house is located on a historical agricultural plot amidst hayfields and woods in a nature reserve, a - for Dutch standards - hilly area. Although the plot has been overrun with small trees in time, it still bears the original character of the open field.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

To minimize disturbance of the landscape and as a reference to the surrounding hilly terrain, the house is embedded in an artificial hill. At the same time, this answered the client’s demand for keeping his ecological footprint with the house to a minimum.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The embedding in the hill simultaneously functions as camouflage and as a blanket, hiding the house from view from the north side and using the earth as thermal insulation. One enters the house through cuts in the mountain, sided with panels of slowly corroding scrap steel.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

On the south side, the house has been opened to a maximum. The grand glass facade is framed in timber, which guides the transition from the artificial to the natural. The canopy regulates sunshine through the seasons and allows for a large terrace along the full width of the house.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The terrace follows the split level of the ground floor, jumps up to the higher west façade creating a henhouse underneath. Finally, it curls back up to become the canopy. The frame is constructed out of lark wood, forested from the immediate surroundings and therefore making it a hyperlocal use of material.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

Detailing creates a seamless transition between the interior and the exterior: the concrete floor, window frames and terrace finishing are all flush and continuous from inside to outside.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The spatial structure of the house is a rectangular 12 x 19 meter open space. Steel cross the entire 12 meter width allowing great flexibility to the interior arrangement. Inside the hall-like space, the rooms are stacked in a disorderly manner and built out of light wooden structures, facilitating easy implementation of possible future changes. The interior can evolve along with its inhabitants, a young family, rooms being added or removed through time.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

There is a binary spatial experience in the house. Either you are in a room, with a cave-like atmosphere, daylight coming to you through deep cuts in the mountain - or you are in the large open space in front of the stacked rooms. This large space is oriented towards the 90 m2 glass facade which offers a spectacular view of the surrounding woods.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The contrast between shell and rooms is clearly visible. The concrete wall, needed to retain the mass of the mountain, is left unfinished. The welding joints of the steel spans are visible and the wood is untreated. Within this rough shell of untreated construction materials, the stack of rooms tells a completely different story: every room is finished by the inhabitants in a unique and colorful way, which expresses the individuality of the boxes.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The design is an experiment in sustainable strategies in both architecture - the hardware – and the technical installations - the software – which have been designed by Arup Amsterdam. The software concept consists of photovoltaics, LED lighting, wood pellet heating in combination with low temperature heating, CO2 monitored ventilation, a grey water circuit and the use of smart domotics. The result is a house in which the total amount of energy produced exceeds its consumption: excess energy can be used for a electric car.

Dutch Mountain by Denieuwegeneratie

The house is bold and unpredictable: an experiment in sustainable strategies in concept, structure, material and technical installations. A house that blends quietly in its surroundings, but stands out with spatial surprises.

  • Just a little cabin in the woods!!!
    Again, beautiful Dutch design.

  • hotte

    The car as a bookshelf. Never seen anything more stupid…

    • Jez

      The car as a bookshelf. Never seen anything cooler…

  • I agree with Hotte: The car as a bookshelf is pretty ridiculous … which is unfortunate because the rest of the house is really stunning.

  • H-J

    I love how all those elements are used out-of-place; the skateboards, the car, the garbage bins, very playfull, like MVRDV in their younger years.

  • Don

    and I did see things more stupid than that. Overall I like it though it IS a bit pretentious.

    • Mike

      Pretentious is in these days.

  • toomuchcoffeeman

    the spacial design of the building as a whole looks really nice.

    but the interior design, especially the skateboards as a stairs, is really an eyesore. totally immature.

  • Chris

    70's throwback vibe with a spare contemporary aesthetic. Pretty damn cool.

  • Joy Ecklestein

    I like the way the car ended up in the kitchen: it simply wasn’t green enough to drive. it drank so much gasoline that it was switched for a prius and then it kept sitting in the garage as selling wasn’t lucrative, the daimler was too old and needed expensive maintenance. in that light, this solution is pretty nifty.

  • W.V.

    This is a non-discussion. The architecture is not pretentious or ridiculous at all, it's the furniture of the private owner.

  • seth

    wow that 6th photo with the car really tripped me out

  • david

    Skateboard deck stairs!!! I love!

  • jeb

    i wonder how long it will take for one of the kids to fall off the roof

  • They should have used bicycles as handrails ;)

  • Rafel

    Interior design is bad, otherwise all the rest is wonderful

  • steef

    This is without a doubt the coolest stuff I have seen in quite a while on dezeen. If this is immature, then please god let me never grow up. Imagine being a kid and growing up in that house..

  • nelly

    this house is so full of poetry that it gives me goosebumps ! good job!

  • The interior design idea is not eye catching, otherwise all is well.

  • Ibone Martinez Alberdi

    It is the first time I see random stuff fitted that well in a house, congrats!