Mecanoo cloaks Dutch house in pearlescent ceramic tiles


Glossy ceramic tiles in shades of green and blue cover the twisting form of Villa BW, a house in the Dutch village of Schoorl designed by architecture studio Mecanoo.

Delft-based Mecanoo, which is best known for its large-scale cultural projects, created the three-storey home to sit among a cluster of more traditional dwellings.

Mecanoo has created a tile-covered house named Villa BW

Villa BW has a distinctive double-curved roof and tile cladding, designed to allow the 308-square-metre house to be “absorbed” by the surrounding landscape of dunes, woodland and polder.

Treated with a pearlescent glaze, the bespoke tiles that cover the exterior are coloured in grey, blue and green tones that appear to shift with the changing sunlight during the day.

Aerial view of houses in the village of Schoorl
It sits within a cluster of traditional houses

“Where the rolling dune landscape flows into the lower-lying polder terrain of the hinterland, the naturally sloping landscape embraces Villa BW,” said Mecanoo.

“Colour use is consistent with the shades of the environment, ensuring that the villa is absorbed in the changing terrain,” it continued. “The dune and polder landscape in various seasons is mirrored in the design’s colour spectrum consisting of five shades of grey, green and blue.”

Curved roof of Villa BW by Mecanoo
It has a distinctive double-curved roof

Two vertical elements organise the interiors of the home – a glazed void facing a garden to the southeast and the wood-lined core containing the staircase, storage, and sanitaryware.

The glazed void ensures that ample daylight reaches the home’s two basement levels, which contain an office and lounge area, and open out onto the garden.

On the ground floor is a large living, dining and kitchen space oriented towards the garden. Here, glass doors lead out to a stepped wooden terrace that wraps the northern end of the home.

At either gable end of the house, large windows in projecting wood and metal frames. These provide light and views for the main bedroom on the first floor, which sits under the gently twisting ceiling finished with wooden planks.

Blue-tiled elevation of Villa BW in the Netherlands
The tiles are coloured in grey, blue and green tones

Finishing touches to Villa BW include wooden panels and storage units that line the interiors and conceal sliding doors.

Terrazzo floors and counters in the bathroom and kitchen areas are complemented by tiled splashbacks that match the exterior cladding.

Wood-lined interior of Villa BW by Mecanoo
Wooden panels line the interior of the home

Architecture studio Mecanoo was founded in the Netherlands in 1984 by the Dutch architect Francine Houben.

Previous homes by the studio include a house and cooking school in the Netherlands linked by subterranean corridors and a home in the Cotswolds that is partially submerged in a lake.

The photography is by Ossip Architectuurfotografie.

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