contemporary residence in the netherlands unwraps four volumes around an open patio

contemporary residence in the netherlands unwraps four volumes around an open patio

Engel Architecten hides a bungalow among holland’s greenery


Architectural firm Engel Architecten plants a contemporary bungalow of refined volumetric structure in the rich greenery of North Holland. The site is surrounded by tall trees and shapes a single-leveled residence that unwraps into four units merging with the natural landscape. The main principle of the design follows an embracive approach toward the environment with the built structure standing in direct contact with its surrounding without overwhelming the scene with its frame.


The house consists of four volumes of different heights that are strategically placed on the plot with each part of the composition arranging its own function. The units are laid out around a patio that forms the heart of the house. The building is positioned somewhat higher than the surrounding landscape and a supporting plinth is set back slightly. The visually detached form accentuates the clean lines of the framework and the volumetric structure shaped mainly by light-hued bricks becomes more legible.

contemporary residence in the netherlands unwraps four volumes around an open patio
front facade view | all images by Stijn Poelstra



tranquility and simplicity define the interior design 


The surrounding greenery provides sufficient visual privacy, one of the main requirements of the plan. In addition to privacy, the project tends to the need for abundant daylight in all the rooms. Designed to sustain high transparency between the living zones and the outdoor areas, the residence guarantees intimacy through the dense forest that surrounds the plot. The volumes are situated along the corridor enclosing the patio without limiting the amount of sunlight coming through.


The soft minimalist design approach is strongly visible both on the outside, and the interior space. By applying soft colors, natural materials, and subtle textures, the design team preserves tranquility and simplicity throughout the living areas giving off a warm ambiance and avoiding overpowering the architectural elements. The custom-made interior is designed to the very detail and tailored to fit the needs of the users. Sufficient cupboard space in all rooms allows balance and tidiness, while the minimalistic approach of the layout ensures the prevention of superfluous features.

contemporary residence in the netherlands unwraps four volumes around an open patio
garden perspective



merging indoor and outdoor spaces in refined architecture


The project merges indoor and outdoor spaces in several circumstances, such as by continuing the masonry that makes up the spacious fireplace from the outside to the inside, and by forming large glass surfaces allowing the greenery to fuse with the living zones. The large south-facing sliding doors are slightly pushed back into the facade fracturing the monolithic character of the residence. A long skylight along the kitchen forms an interplay of light and shadow throughout the day.


Natural nuances are chosen for the house’s interior layout giving off a modern and unique appearance. The house is built using a long format brick in a light gray color. The precise mixing of two types of bricks creates a subtle framework. The gray color scheme is also applied to the rest of the exterior such as the window frames, all the aluminum work, and the architectural concrete. Together they form a single whole. By recessing the ribbon joint the horizontal linework accentuates the composition and is present in the design. The vertically placed wooden blinds ensure a balance between the interplay of lines and provide a refined and sleek appearance.

contemporary residence in the netherlands unwraps four volumes around an open patio
facade detail


evening view

Engel Architecten Holland
living room by night

Engel Architecten Holland
entrance view


living room

Engel Architecten Holland



project info:


name: Hidden among the greenery
designer: Engel Architecten

design team: Maarten Engel, Jeffrey Konings, Bas Ausems, Desley Hakkert

location: North Holland

photography: Stijn Poelstra



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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