A vacation cottage in the dunes | Bloem and Lemstra Architects
Vlieland is an island of sand dunes off the north coast of the Netherlands. The main economic activity on the island is tourism, with hotels, campgrounds and vacation homes. Bloem and Lemstra Architects was asked to design a small cottage for a site just a stone’s throw from the sea.
Zoning regulations limited the new cottage to 54 m2 (581 ft2). However a good understanding of the rules allowed the architects to exceed that. A 6 m2 (65 ft2) outbuilding could also be built, provided that it was no more than 2.5 m (8.2 ft) in height. The architects saw the potential of attaching this “shed” to the side of the cottage and providing access from inside, allowing it to be used as a mudroom entrance as well as a laundry room.
The regulations also allowed for a generous overhang which is not included in the floor space limit. The architects used that to create a covered verandah on two sides of the living area. With a folding glass wall and continuity of the tile flooring from inside to out with no step down, the living area seamlessly expands to the outdoors.
The cottage is essentially composed of two wood-clad boxes with the glass-walled living/dining/kitchen space in between. The wood cladding consists of spaced vertical slats, with the mudroom entry box subtly emphasized by using slats of varying width. The other, larger, box contains the private spaces. There are two very compact bedrooms and a bathroom divided into separate toilet and shower compartments. Like the other cottages nearby, the new one has a shallow-pitched gable roof. However the roof is asymmetrical, setting it apart from its neighbors.
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