Texel Holiday Home

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On the smallest Dutch island of Texel, there are equal populations of sheep and humans, and found scattered throughout the rolling grassy hills are isolated gabled roof structures that would typically contain supplies, tools, and hay. This exceptional holiday home, from Benthem Crouwel Architects, is meant to mimic the contextual and conceptual aesthetic of those traditional sheds while providing the inhabitants with a cozy modern retreat unlike anything we’ve seen.

While in form and general geometry the Holiday House resembles the sheep sheds that pepper Texel’s landscape, the similarities pretty much stop there. Large sections of wall are removed from the ground floor making way for sprawling glazed openings that allow the interiors to enjoy majestic views of the surrounding land. One particularly enticing vista happens beyond the kitchen and dining areas, where one can enjoy an afternoon meal while enjoying panoramic views of green grass and blue sky.

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To give the exterior a soft, natural, almost quilt-like aesthetic, sprayed on rubber has been covered in layers of colored nets. It’s about as unconventional an exterior building material can get, but works well here as it helps the structure simultaneously stand out and blend in with the surrounding environment. It also speaks quite literally to the region’s reliance on the textile industry fueled by the high local sheep population.

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The interior is functional and bright so as not to detract too much from the natural beauty that permeates each space. The kitchen and living spaces occupy the ground floor, while extra sleeping and storage areas occupy the more private spaces above and below. The odd geometry of the roof line present a number of quirky interior moments where lines converge and spaces intertwine. The staircase, in particular, offers an added layer of visual intrigue that is absent from the material palette.

The Holiday House is an odd, unique architectural object that speaks well to the place it so modestly occupies. Benthem Crouwel Architects have mastered the art of literal metaphor in designing a structure that pays homage to tradition while at the same time carrying such a playful sense of context.

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Architects: Benthem Crouwel Architects
Photography: ©Jannes Linders