Project: Villa S2
Architect: MARC Architects
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Photo by: Raphael Drent
Villa S2 by MARC Architects
Villa S2 is a luxurious contemporary residence designed by MARC Architects in Amsterdam. This is a very spacious house and its high ceilings and glass-coated surface ensure that a lot of sunlight comes in, giving a beautiful interior design beautiful lighting.
Villa S2 on the island of IJburg is a high level three-storey villa with spacious design, high ceilings, and exceptional openness to the beach. The shape of the villa must be very compact. This is controlled by a relatively small plot so that it is close to water on one side and client needs on the other side. On the front side of the house, the entrance is directly into a small parking lot that contains part of the basement. At the back of the embankment separates the sea edge from the plot. The position of the villa near the embankment forms the depth of the basement so that no structure is permitted to penetrate the slope or shape of the embankment. This condition by itself makes it a Super Dutch design. The client wants to have a guesthouse in another part of the basement which leads to the need for direct sunlight entering this space. Acknowledging the previous requirements, we designed a partial basement above ground level in combination with a raised basement and split level space. Most of the ground floor is almost two meters above the park. Several floors and 4 feet of raised space. This design solution provides breathtaking views of the surrounding waters and vegetation of southern Europe on the island of IJburg.
To emphasize the inner space – or more on the client’s personal identity – we actually fold the walls and floor structure around the room. All rooms have views of the waters and green environment. To achieve maximum physical and visual connection between interior and exterior, we do not use frames for the most important glass facades. This means we have to develop smart details where the glass fills the walls and floors which are coated with white stone edge panels. We design waterways behind almost all panels along the floor to prevent pollution of the white edges by rainwater from the glass surface. Water flows directly to the surface of the ground in some unseen positions. At the south and west heights we integrate electric sunscreens behind the white edges. In that way we provide a dual purpose white stone edge panel. They provide a strong architectural design by giving expression to S-shaped villas and in the meantime they support technically on a smaller scale.
The most important spatial connection is the connection where the kitchen is connected to an elevated terrace. When cooking behind the stove next to the fireplace, there is a feeling of being outside on the terrace. The dining room and kitchen have high ceilings of up to 3.35m1. In this particular place the S-shaped design opens towards the terrace, garden and waterfront with a large, full-height glass section at the right corner. For this very important window frame, we use a uniquely designed and manufactured Swiss Sky-frame product that gives us the possibility to integrate all the flat frames on walls, ceilings and floors. The only frames visible are those that are between fixed and sliding windows that are less than an inch wide.
Both inside and outside we aim to provide the villa S2 with very prominent technical details and material usage. We want this villa to be a modern and sustainable design in a way that is very energy efficient and even almost a passive (energy neutral) home. The use of large glass facades should not interfere with this strong purpose.
Therefore we design all windows and open facades as 3-layerd glass facades with the highest standards in terms of insulation. Behind all white natural stone panels, we even use insulation panels with excellent features such as Kingspan Kooltherm K15 with a thermal resistance (Rc) of almost 6. White natural stone panels consist of composite materials with 90 percent natural stone grit components combined with 10 percent white binder. Grit color mix consists of white, off-white, light green and light yellow. The latter refers to the gray reed along the beach.
We specifically chose this white material as a gift in order to cost less energy for cooling in the summer. We use this 22-millimeter material not only along the floor and walls, but even in large 6-square-meter panels and all the small pieces for glass pillars connected to it. We polish all panels lightly so they are not easily polluted. The fact that colorful grits deepen by reflecting sunlight is the second reason for choosing this type of finishing. For wood façade elements, we use Nobel Wood products which give the villa a warm and natural look. This is an alternative to tropical hardwoods based on Dutch pine wood from forests that are sustainably managed according to FSC certification. Pine wood is wood modified based on biopolymerization. Wood is a biopolymer from sugar cane to the modified core. The result is a product with a high quality hardwood appearance. In addition to the limited environmental impact, we consider stable aging as an important aspect for selecting Nobel Wood in applications at Villa S2. Because only error-free poles are used for Nobel Wood production, the material is homogeneous. As a result, there is uniform aging of the ingredients.
From the beginning of the design phase we have applied well thought out concepts to installations in the design. We use a 38 centimeter thick sandwich floor to channel the heat recovery system to reuse hot air with as little energy loss as possible. We combine this system with floor heating and top cooling for extra comfort. On the roof we place four large solar panels and almost all LED lights are connected to dusk.