Exterior image of the rear of BD House

Brick extension opens up Dutch home to forested garden

Dutch practices Space Encounters and Studio Vincent Architecture have completed BD House, an extension of a 1950s villa with a brick garden pavilion intended to create the feeling of "living in the forest".

When the new owners of the existing rural villa found it to be structurally unsound, they tasked the two Amsterdam-based practices with maintaining its character while updating its interiors for modern living.

Exterior image of the brick extension at BD House
BD House was designed by Space Encounters and Studio Vincent Architecture

Looking to better address the woodland that wraps the home's rear garden, the architects opened up the interiors and added a gently curving brick pavilion at its rear that contrasts the vernacular architecture of the original home.

"The design of BD House became a layered transformation in which cultural heritage, sustainable transformation, and the rich natural qualities of the area confluence," said the architects.

Exterior image of a curving brick pavilion added to the rear of BD House
A curving brick pavilion was added to the rear of the home

"[The home] has not only been enlarged but has also been made future-proof, contributing to the larger transformation of the countryside in which the existing housing stock is becoming more sustainable and adapted to demands for contemporary living," they continued.

On the ground floor, the kitchen, bathrooms and a secondary living area occupy the existing structure, with the interior updated using a contemporary palette of wood fittings, terrazzo floors and tiled counters.

At the rear of the building, the main bedroom and living area extend outwards into the brick extension, their floor levels made slightly lower in order to create a closer relationship to the landscape with window seating areas.

Overlooking the garden with fully glazed walls fitted sliding doors, the bedroom and living room are sandwiched between a paved brick terrace and a thick, brick-clad roof, punctured by a hole that allows a tree to grow through.

Interior image of a living area with a green sofa at BD House
Large sliding doors open up the interior to the garden

Dark brown recycled bricks and thick white mortar joints sit in stark contrast to the white-painted exterior of the existing home, with the extension intended to gradually blend in with the garden over time.

"The transparent facade and its generous sliding roots and oblique windows continue the spatial enfilade of the interior into the design of the garden, anchoring the bright building in the undulating landscape of maritime pines," said the practice.

"Both the existing villa and the extension are materialised in brick, yet they contrast in size, colour and treatment, revealing the layers of time in the project."

Interior image of a tiled kitchen with island at the Dutch home
The interior was finished with terrazzo, tiles and wood

The first floor has been entirely dedicated to spaces for the family's children, with two bathrooms, a playroom, bedroom and guest room contained within the home's original footprint overlooking the green roof of the extension.

Recent projects by Space Encounters include a colourful series of townhouse blocks for a residential development in Utrecht, and an office building in Amersfoort raised on stilts above an existing brick warehouse.

Photography is by Lorenzo Zandri.

More images and plans

Ground floor plan of BD House
Ground floor plan
Upper floor plan and section of BD House
Upper floor plan and section
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden
Brick extension opens rural Dutch home out towards a forested garden