This design for a sculptural tower of stacked forest villas is located on the edge of a forested area in the middle of the country. The building contains 19 spacious apartments offering panoramic views of the forested surroundings.
The tower is part of a plan to restructure the Kerckebosch neighbourhood in Zeist, and is the last in a series of new apartment buildings in one of the green wedges on the edge of the forest.
The concept and material elaboration of the tower are based on the themes of ‘sand’, ‘tree trunk’ and ‘leaf’. Stacking these themes as layers on top of one another generated the design
The green and wooded area and sandy soil provided the immediate inspiration for the design of the residential tower. The concept and material elaboration of the tower are based on the themes of ‘sand’, ‘tree trunk’ and ‘leaf’. Stacking these themes as layers on top of one another generated the design. The theme of ‘sand’ encompasses the floor finishes, balcony walls and terraces. Outdoor ceilings are designed as part of the ‘leaf’ theme, taking the form of an informal green finish on all the lower sides of balconies and cantilevered surfaces. Finally, the areas of facade between them, consisting of supporting columns and large transparent sections of glazing, are elaborated as part of the ‘tree trunk’ theme.
The tower looks sculptural and luxurious, but it is also composed within a rational grid, with a supporting structure made up of the core and the columns set into the facade. This structure extends into the half-sunken car park, where the storage units of the apartments are also located. The building contains 10 floors above ground, with two L-shaped apartments arranged symmetrically on each floor, which are rotated 90 degrees with respect to the floor below. The exception within this configuration is the top floor, containing a penthouse with a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
The building is rooted in its green setting. Accessed via a flight of steps or a gently sloping forest path, the entrance is located where the angled facade folds inwards to create an invitingly designed opening. Immediately inside, visitors enter a double-height hall with views of the surroundings and the centrally positioned core, containing the lifts and staircases to the apartments.
The apartments feature spacious outdoor spaces on all sides. The alternate floor slabs extending outwards and glass screens folded inwards create ‘outdoor rooms’ at strategic points. Here, the border between inside and outside seems to blur, allowing the wooded surroundings to become part of the living experience on this remarkable site. Because the apartments on each floor are mirrored, the outdoor spaces on each level are positioned differently. As a result, the tower reads as an irregular stack of balconies folded inwards and outwards, weaving them in a random yet natural way into the wooded setting. At the same time, it is a landmark that indicates the entrance to Kerckebosch.