BRABANT – Barcode Architects brings simplicity, material quality, and a contemporary appearance to Villa X, a residence for a couple, in Brabant, the Netherlands. They define it as a combination of ‘solid and void in a geometrically minimalistic composition.’
The architecture can be quantified as a simple one-storey residence. Its geometry is a single elongated box where the front and back facades are folded inwards. The bow-tie shape of the overall volume allows for covered space in both the front and back - welcoming the residences back and inviting them to step out into the backyard.
The public areas are completely glazed in the middle of the residence and are protected at both ends by concrete blocks. These blocks make up the private living quarters. The garden acts as the dynamic catalyst of the open living space, the changing daylight animating it.
The concrete blocks at the end are detailed to be massive in a refined way. The smooth and reflective finish of the surfaces counters the sense of weight given by the concrete. Its sharp and clean angles even gives the house the appearance of a perfectly calculated, scored and folded paper model. A protruding window looks as though it was gently pulled out - adding a subtle malleable feel to the otherwise dense concrete.
The interior gets colourful with distinct identities for each space. The architects went ‘from the “surrealist” Escher-inspired restroom to the sunny yellow guest bathroom.’ The frames of the fully glazed facades are hidden in the floor and ceiling, allowing an unobstructed view to the second living area – the exterior garden.
The open floor plan in the main living area only has two freestanding cores that delineate the spaces. One is a linear element with curved edges and a bamboo finish. This holds building installations, storage space, a TV and a fireplace. It protrudes out of the building, pinning the building down. The second in T-shaped and is a dark-stained oak cabinetry that limits the entrance, dining area, and kitchen.