A unique house at a beautiful location
Very close to Amsterdam.”A unique house at a beautiful location.’ These are superlatives which are sometimes used too easily to give extra prestige to a building. In the case of this villa, such a description would be a complete understatement. It is an expression of Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) which is applicable to this house: ‘I have the simplest tastes. I’m always satisfied with the best’. And this is how it is exactly. This is not an opulent house – no detrimental excess. Although no cuts were made to the realisation, the villa still presents itself as mostly subdued. Only upon closer acquaintance you realise that this house is spectacular in every way. Location, architecture, the sublime finishing, the equipment level and the uncompromising choice for the very best and most beautiful materials and solutions. Design and construction took almost ten years.
It was a challenge to harmoniously fit the villa in the hilly and wooded landscape of Bosch en Duin, a very pleasant villa village on the Utrecht Heuvelrug, near Zeist. The current owners purchased a lot of almost 8 acres here. They did not select the easiest way to realise this dream house. For the design, use was made of the height differences in the landscape. Inspiration was found in one of the most famous architectural artworks ever: ‘Fallingwater’, the house which Frank Lloyd Wright designed as a holiday home in 1935 in The Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania. What is special about Fallingwater is the perfect fusion of house and nature, both in shape and in material use. The surroundings dominate the architecture. This was also the basic principle for the design of this villa in Bosch en Duin. Slangen Hulsker Architecten from Haarlem design a very extensive manor in collaboration with the client, with a content of 9,000 m³, divided across seven levels. A building which conforms to the hilly landscape and provides view on the nature from every space. For the design, due account was taken of beautiful sight lines and iconic trees.
The gateway at the Biltseweg is a careful indication of what you will encounter at the end of the long driveway. The design lampposts, the Corten steel garden walls close to the villa and then the house itself, which rises up from the green, like a contemporary castle. A huge natural stone arcade, consisting of the Israeli limestone type ‘Jerusalem Gold’, marks the entrance. This natural stone is used in various ways in the villa: polished on the floor and in raw form as wall and facade stone. In combination with the white plastered walls, the large windows and the balustrades made of glass and brushed aluminium this provides the villa with a luxurious, timeless appearance. This is also the style in which the interior is designed. The beautiful custom bookcases in the library on the ground floor, the floors of walnut and cherry wood, the robust Obumex kitchen, which is located half a floor lower, the guest apartment with own kitchen and bathroom, the lift in the hall which connects the floors together – it all testifies to a great sense of comfort and aesthetics. The playful format, with half and whole level differences between the various areas, interconnected with one another by transparent high halls and mezzanines with glass balustrades, largely determine the special atmosphere in the house. At the back there is the beautiful music room with a semi-circular glass front which looks out on a lawn surrounded by rhododendrons. However, the attention is drawn to the monumental red beech. The adjacent living room provides a peaceful view over the forest pond on the front side of the villa. In the semi-circular ‘tower’, which breaks through the tight design of the villa, there is a spacious television room and on the floor above it ‘the oval office’ with an adjacent archive space. The master suite, the luxurious bathroom and elegant dressing room – with maple wooden cabinets with leather fronts – comprise a large part of the first floor. But the other bedrooms, all with an own bathroom, all have style and allure as well.
In the basement you will find a complete wellness centre with eight person whirlpool, sauna, steam bath, rain shower, a fitness centre and a swimming pool hall, of which the Brazilian blue marble floor was sawn from one block. The complete floor drops down with a push of the button if you would like to swim and will rise up again if you want to dance. In addition, the hall is fitted with a professional beamer. However, the pièce de résistance is the Tuschinsky-like cinema room, completely with red velvet furniture, romantic bedside lamps and places for twenty spectators. An absolute dream for movie lovers!
Have we kept anything from you about this villa? Definitely. A lot. There is a billiard room with a horizontal fireplace, a laundry and two huge storage cellars, a parking garage for approx. ten cars, area for the staff, there are electric blinds, floor heating and cooling throughout the entire house and every room has own climate control. In addition, the air humidity in the house is accurately kept to fifty per cent. For optimal well-being the swimming pool and the bathrooms do not just feature floor heating, but also wall heating. All living areas in house have an acoustic ceiling in order to prevent reverberation – the oval rooms, the office and the television room, also have partially absorbing walls. The house is of course fitted with state-of-the-art home automation and all areas with multiple connections for Cat-7 Ethernet. The cables can be used for audio-video, intercom or telephone as desired. Around the villa there are various beautiful slate terraces, partially covered, at multiple levels. You can walk around every day in your own forest, while the children enjoy themselves in the tree hut. This is not a ‘unique house at a beautiful location’. This is – without a doubt – the most special and luxurious house on the Dutch housing market. A house for the true connoisseur, for whom the best is good enough.