With the design of Villa Vught, a remote residence in the Dutch countryside, Mecanoo attempted to reinterpret the farm typology of the region. Traditionally, the Dutch Hoeve is an ensemble of farmhouses and living spaces that are loosely grouped around an inner courtyard. The central open space is protected and yet open to the surrounding landscape – a spatial arrangement that guided the configuration of the project.
The functions of the house are divided into three different volumes that Mecanoo shaped to resemble a small village. While two volumes appear as gable barns, the larger volume captures the view of the vast landscape and forms a remarkable contrast to the other buildings on site. This structure, the most famous building on the site, contains the master bedroom on the ground floor, children’s rooms on the upper floors and a roof terrace.
One of the two barns contains a living room, kitchen with dining area and a large veranda on the southwest, while the first floor has a study area and a playroom. The other barn houses a cooking studio that can accommodate up to 20 people in cooking classes, workshops and team building activities led by the customer. In addition to the studio, there is a garage, a storage room and a guest suite on the first floor.
The layout tries to combine the residential functions while maintaining the free-standing configuration of a traditional homestead. To this end, a half-sunken corridor, hidden under a grass hill, connects the larger volume with the living room of the barn. However, the barn with the cooking studio and the guest house is completely free-standing, so that the view of the surrounding landscape from the inner courtyard is retained. Wood, a material that is both sustainable and visually warm, is used for the structure and interior. The three buildings have a cross-laminated timber construction and interior surfaces made of European silver fir.