Aluminium is a contemporary material that blends well with the signature style of these homes thanks to its maximum malleability, aesthetic qualities and durable nature.
The design, or rather the designs, were created by Paul Michielsen of Michielsen Architects in Baarle-Nassau.
Although there is a clear synergy between the villas, the buildings are characterised by their own identity. “One villa is slender and transparent, the other robust and more closed. We spent a year working on the design together with the residents and the construction team. The volumes were created from a single concept, each with their own signature. That makes the houses exciting and special.”
The contemporary design - the architect prefers not to use the term ‘modern’ - is the most striking feature at first sight. Zooming in closer, this design in combination with the contrasting use of colour accents and materials creates a strong balance. Both homes are equipped with façade insulation systems and finished with white stucco. In the robust volume of one villa, the use of padouk, a red African wood, interrupts the rhythm almost violently. In the other villa Michielsen chose a grey natural stone. In the latter villa the upper storey is rotated by 30 degrees in relation to the lower level, creating a substantial overhang. This results in a special contrast. It is precisely this imbalance that creates an aesthetic balance.
Paul Michielsen is clear about the use of materials. “I have an emphatic preference for natural materials over synthetic solutions. This means stone, wood, but also aluminium. Aluminium as a contemporary material fits in well with these homes. It is malleable and also sustainable, one of the most important principles in contemporary construction. Both villas also feature a sustainable green roof.”
Aluminium makes an important contribution to the experience of the villas. In the slender villa, a flowing transition was created between the aluminium roof edge and a wall coping system on the sedum roof. The sedum roof ends in a narrow area, so there was too little space for the gravel strip, a vegetation strip and the roof edge. Michielsen: “There would be too much detailing in too small an area. That's why we opted for an aesthetic solution: the narrow section is covered with a wall coping with only the gravel strip. Beautiful, custom-made flashing creates a peaceful image from the inside.”
In addition to the aluminium roof edge on both houses, the weather cornices and frame profiles are also made of aluminium. We chose RAL colours signal white and basalt grey. This also applies to the detailing of the parapets for which the architect chose wall coping systems. “The choice of aluminium also has a pragmatic side in terms of guarantees and advice. That worked out very well throughout the construction process,” says Michielsen. “As a result, you don't have to keep reinventing the wheel for future projects.”