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.