set amid the woods, in rijssen, the netherlands, reitsema & partners has transformed a 50-year-old villa into a comfortable, contemporary, sustainable home. in order to carry out the project successfully, lead architect theo reitsema and his wife, interior designer stephanie weitering, decided to settle within the 1967 dwelling for a whole year. the couple moved into ‘villa RR’ with their two young children, in order to discover the possibilities of the house and the location.

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all images courtesy of reitsema & partners



as the original floor plan was well put together, reitsema & partners decided to preserve the general layout, with the common area situated on the west, and the bedrooms on the east of the house. in the middle of the house, there is a garden room, with a darker, private character that creates a contrast with the white, open living room. the wooden outer cladding appears to continue in the garden room walls, transforming the space into a veranda when the harmonica facade is fully open. in this way, a smooth transition between the interior and the flower garden is formed.

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taking advantage of the hilly location, the east side of the house consists of two floors and the west side of one. by providing the lower floor with a double garage and a study room with dark stucco, it appears as a stable plinth for the upper living and sleeping floor. this upper level has a distinctive appearance thanks to a new wooden facade that is relatively dense on the east side and completely open on the west side. the front door marks the transition between the two parts. meanwhile, a playful exterior staircase highlights the entrance .

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reitsema and weitering themselves might not have thought of placing the house in the length of the deep plot – aligning with the east-west axis. however, they think it’s a great find by the original architect: j. abma. thanks to this orientation, residents can experience the north and south side of the garden while relaxing in the living room. for an optimal landscape experience, the west side of villa RR has been expanded with a glass volume. the roof is supported by four slender, chrome-plated columns that reflect the landscape and thus contribute to the panoramic experience from the living room.

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various measures have been taken to ensure that the home can also offer a high level of comfort in the future. by applying heat recovery, triple glazing, high-quality insulation, high gap tightness, LED lighting, economical built-in appliances and by preparing the installation for the next generation of heat pumps, the house is not only very energy-efficient, but also prepared for the next fifty years.

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project info:



name: villa RR

architects: reitsema & partners architects

project team: theo reitsema, stephanie weitering, jacob kunst, haroen martens, dennis weerink, tim de graag

3d modeling and visualization: mikhail sizov

location: rijssen, the netherlands

surface area: 276 m 2



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: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom