Skip to content
Architecture, urban planning and research in, on and next to water
+31 70 39 44 234

Waterstudio. NL Villa New Water, Westland

By Steve Huyton
Total design reviews

A few weeks ago I met a very talented building designer and entrepreneur called Chris Clarke. As we both love industrial architecture I suggested catching up for a coffee and chat at a trendy cafe called Folklore in Port Adelaide. This venue used to be the sales office for recent waterfront developments and has been cleverly repurposed by the current owners. Interesting the building, which is supported by stilts is similar to the type of modular homes Chris is creating for his company Swale Developments. Essentially, only three materials (glass, timber, steel) are used in construction.

One of my future ambitions is to design and build a modernistic home, ideally with water views. Unlike many homes in Australia (that are massively oversized) I would prefer a more modest footprint. Ultimately that is why I have to keep an eye on architectural trends in other countries. In particular, a region that is considered very progressive is the Netherlands. A fantastic example is Villa New Water, Westland created by Waterstudio. NL. Certainly this one of the most exciting residential homes I have seen in a long time.

Waterstudio.NL is the brainchild of architect Koen Olthuis, whose vision is to confront the problems posed by urbanization and climate change. In fact, his philosophy is aligned closely with Chris Clarke’s who also envisages the need for more flexible housing. A great starting point is waterfront living and that is what Koen Olthuis specialises in. In fact, he devised concepts for floating restaurants, villas, hotels and even a living Island. However, these are just exciting visions rather than completed residential homes like Villa New Water, Westland.

Even though Waterstudio.NL haven’t supplied an enormous amount of the detail about Villa New Water, Westland, the visuals really do the talking. What makes this home so exceptional is the overall simplicity. At first glance, the residence appears to be situated on one level. However, the architects have ingeniously created a below ground level, which takes advantage of the natural light on the floor above. Essentially the home is constructed from material like concrete, timber, steel and glass (which maximises the amazing water views). However, it could easily be made from shipping containers to achieve a similar effect.


Click here to read the article in pdf

Click here to read the article on the source website

Qheli: James Bond-huis tussen de kassen van het Westland

By Martijn de Meulder
Photo credit: Izak van Maldegem/Skypictures, for Quote
Wekelijks vliegen we met onze Qheli boven de huizen van ‘s lands rijken. Wat komen we allemaal tegen? Vandaag een bijzonder fraaie/interessante villa waar we toevallig overheen vlogen. Verscholen tussen de eindeloze kassencomplexen van het Westland staat dit James Bond-huis.

Eigenlijk waren we met onze Qheli op weg naar het Noorden, toen we plots dit supermodernistische juweeltje onder ons zagen liggen. Even een extra rondje dus.

Want dit is op misschien wel de vreemdste plek die je je voor een villa kunt voorstellen: midden in het Westland, in Naaldwijk. Ingeklemd tussen enorme kassencomplexen heeft René van der Arend (51) daar zijn ruimtevaartschip aan de grond gezet. Of eigenlijk laten zetten, want het ontwerp van architectenbureau Waterstudio wijkt nogal af van het ‘herenhuis’ dat Van der Arend en zijn gezin aanvankelijk voor zich zagen.

De futuristische villa – New Water gedoopt – is opgetrokken uit het nieuwe bouwmateriaal Corian. Een keiharde kunststof waarmee het mogelijk is een James Bond-huis met dergelijke vloeiende lijnen neer te zetten – van nabij ziet het er net zo glad uit als hier vanuit de lucht. Van der Arend is overigens een bekende naam in het Westland, de man runt er zijn Tropical Plant Center en zou met 57 hectare de grootste Nederlandse kweker van winterharde palmen zijn.

Dat loopt blijkbaar heel lekker, want in zijn diverse ondernemingen struikelen we zonder veel moeite over krap 20 miljoen euro eigen vermogen. Dan kan zo’n villa uit Corian er natuurlijk ook wel vanaf. Het huis is in eigendom bij een van zijn vastgoed-bv’s en met een luttele 1 miljoen euro aan hypotheek opgetrokken.

Dat zit wel zo lekker, als je op zomeravonden vanuit je terrascompartiment naar de zonsondergang tuurt. Wodka Martini erbij? Shaken, not stirred. Maar dat laatste spreekt natuurlijk voor zich.

Villa New Water van René van der Arend in het Westland (foto: Izak van Maldegem/Skypictures, voor Quote)

Click here for the source website

Click here for the article in pdf

Architects Worldwide Invent Groundbreaking Floating And Flood-Resistant Solutions To Climate Change


Sea levels are rising to new highs, temperatures are increasing, floods and storms are getting fiercer and more widespread, Hurricane Harvey battered Texas and Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and the Caribbean, and hundreds of millions of people along floodplains worldwide live under threat due to climate change. Nations like the Maldives have to build on water or move to flee rising sea levels, New Orleans has to battle storm surges and Jakarta has to cope with massive flooding. Inaction doesn’t always benefit cities, as innovations driven by changing realities can introduce new prosperity. Mitigating the effects of climate change is usually seen as a cost, but the resulting modifications made in cities can lead to long-term economic and social benefits. Climate change is not just about the risk of floods and drowning, but also the financial cost of damaged property and businesses and how it will redefine which parts of a city are sought after and which are unsafe. A one meter sea level rise would reorganize maps and affect financial stability in many of the world’s biggest waterfronts, and precious real estate in places like New York and Miami would be lost. Lots of land in Bangladesh, India and the Philippines would also vanish. Many of the water defense systems in the Netherlands safeguarding the country would become ineffective. World leaders may be delaying addressing the issue as they favor short-term strategies with immediate benefits, but in the meantime, certain architects are working on solutions to build more resilient structures on the water or to address flood protection on land and changing the rules that traditional urban planning has imposed upon us. By resolving the issues stemming from climate change and urbanization, water-based architecture is redefining urbanism. Offering a minimally-invasive method of construction, modern floating developments take advantage of coastal zones, rivers, lakes and canals in space-starved cities and provide flexibility as they may be modified, moved and reused until the end of their lifecycles when they are recycled. The technologies and innovations required for water-based constructions already exist, but now changing the perception towards floating schemes is key to a more sustainable and safer future able to meet modern-day challenges.

Waterstudio’s Citadel floating apartment complex composed of 60 units in The New Water, city of Westland, The NetherlandsCOURTESY OF ARCHITECT KOEN OLTHUIS – WATERSTUDIO.NL


What if instead of fighting rising sea levels, we embrace the water by integrating it into our cities, creating resilient buildings and infrastructure that can deal with extreme flooding and heavy rains? As many metropolises are situated near the water, it is logical that cities will find a way to live with the water instead of relocating inland. A leader in floating architecture who sees the potential that water can bring in making cities more resilient and safer, Koen Olthuis and his Amsterdam-based firm Waterstudio founded in 2003 – among the first to focus exclusively on waterborne architecture – have been showing the benefits of building on the water and how befriending water is a means for survival. This is an architect who was raised in an artificial landscape engineered for water, as about one-third of the Netherlands with over 60 % of the country’s population lies below sea level, and the Dutch have spent the last thousand years constructing storm surge barriers, dikes, pumps and drainage systems to keep the North Sea out. Experts in high-tech engineering, water management and resilience planning, they have installed lakes, parks, plazas and carparks that serve social needs, but also double as giant emergency reservoirs for when floods occur from storms now predicted to happen every five to 10 years. Water has been a way of life in the Netherlands and foreign delegations from Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans often visit to learn from them. Climate change adaptation is high on the public agenda although the country hasn’t met with a disaster in years because the population has seen the benefits of improving public space, which is the additional economic value of investing in resilience.

Click here for the pdf

Click here for the website

Villa New Water

By Architecture & Detail
Volume 10.2016

From the very first moment of seeing the location for this villa, Koen Olthuis, the architect set out to design a villa that would complement and enhance the experience of its surroundings.

Click here for the article in pdf


Wonen met staal: Villa New Water, Naaldwijk

By Paul van Deelen
Bouwen met staal



Een opdrachtgever met een ruim budget, een mooi ruim kavel en een gevelmateriaal met ruime toepassingsmogelijkheden. Architect Koen Olthuis benut zijn ruimte om een uitgesproken ontwerp te maken met bijna industriële precisie. de transparante gevels en gekromde gevelvlakken zijn het best te maken met een stalen drager.

Click here for the full article

Corian-Clad Pad in the Netherlands Could Be an Extra on Tron

By Rachel B. Dyle
Photos Credits Waterstudio.NL


A couple years back, Disney used the space-age material Corian to build a real-life version of the futuristic house from the 1980s movie Tron. Now a firm in the Netherlands has clad a submarine-shaped home next to a lake with the material, for a very high-tech effect. Indeed, the one-story home with floor-to-ceiling windows by Waterstudio.NL has the rounded edges and elegant white shell of a living space created by Apple engineers.

Building in the rural location of Westland, Holland comes with rules about the permitted heights for structures. The resulting Corian-and-timber house is low to the ground, with a main entrance on the side of the volume, and a subterranean level that is obscured from the lake-side. “The concept of transparency was maintained throughout the house by creating an open layout where almost no doors are used,” architect Koen Olthuis writes. Photos, below:

Click here for the pdf

Click here for the website

Back To Top