villa SG21

1000 Cubic meters by FilliéVerhoeven Architects

Bloglinks for articles, publications, construction photos, click here.

For the interior of villa sg21 look here as well


Carl Barenbrug, creative director of Minimalissimo on Ello: Black when it comes to fashion. It always works. It’s easy, chic and simple. I always loved Yohji Yamamoto’s quote on why he wears black: Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all it says this: I don’t bother you –  you don’t bother me. “

Villa SG21 is easy, chic and simple as the colour suggest. But to get there wasn’t as easy. The site, typically Dutch had a very strict building envelope and maximum allowed volume of 1000 cubic meters. The site required a design that would fit the local building code with sloped roofs. The owners however wanted a minimalistic and clean design that would stand out in between the other more conventional structures along the street.

The site is located along a historic road passing through an area of protected scenery mostly grass and farmland. The site itself consists of several combined lots separated by shallow ditches as is common in the Netherlands. In total the site measures about 100 x 50 meters. The house is located at one end of the site looking over about 80 meters of lavish grasslands dotted with trees and bushes. The site is at probably the wettest and lowest part of the Netherlands making it prone to flooding. Because of this the site is very green as well.

To complement this the sod or turf roof is made of imported Norwegian turf. The turf is delivered on site in mesh bags that can be put directly on the roof surface. The turf is already mixed with seeds of different types of grass. Over the years the grass roots will grow and provide for a strong green carpet covering the roof. The roof has an elaborate concealed rain system than pops up and sprays water every time the dedicated computer prevents the roof might be getting to dry.

The house has probably the largest sliding door in a residential house in Holland ever made. In this case not the wooden sliding door at the entrance that obscures the front door behind it but the majestic glass sliding door connecting the living room to the outside scenery. The sliding door spans about 10 x 3 meters and has only two panels of over 500 kilo each. And still the window frames are only 20 mm wide. Actually apart from the front and backdoor all other daylight openings are sliding windows and doors with such minimal frame dimensions giving the house its minimalistic look and feel, inside and outside.

The house has no visible columns and the massive 8 inch cross laminated wooden roof is support by mostly bearing walls. Thus creating an even more minimalistic interior.

To keep the house volume within local building code the windows and doors at ground level are set back to a distance that matches the house volume to exactly the allowed 1000 cubic meters.

The wooden sliding door at the front of the house has a concealed sliding mechanism behind the black wooden boards. Its a statement that gives away something about its interior with its concealed door handles and ventilation system. Minimalistic and elaborate details combined with the sturdy shape of a barn gives the design its chic and modesty that seemed to work best in lazy, easy but mysterious black.

Links to more on this projects have a look at our blog and click here

Questions for the owner of SG21

How did you find your architect ?

Actually not quite sure I ever told Francois – so this may be a first for him as well: We did not initially intend building our own house. We always thought it to be one of those out-of- reach dreams. So we started by looking for houses in our area and came across a barn style house that was for sale which very much caught our interest. However, although the house was appealing, its location was less so and we therefore did not follow through. House after house brought one downside after the other – either by way of necessary investment to make it ‘our own’ or some compromise we would have to live with.

We were not willing to invest a large sum of money to settle for a compromise and that is when we thought of looking for a plot to build. When it was time to select an architect (the selection procedure we used is worth a story of its own – those were different times) that one barn house came back in to the picture. Who had designed it? It was in essence quite close to where we felt most comfortable.
So we went looking for its architect and found Francois. He was the very last to be added to our list of candidates but one that rose far above the rest. Again… more detail to us teaming up, but for another time.

And what did you ask for ?

As a starting point we had put together a few moodboards to get our thoughts across. We still have that first email sent to Francois. Key words for the design were: bold, clean lines, modern, warm, country, natural light. We also dropped the term “barn house”. And we really wanted that sliding barn door at the entrance. As you can tell by the final result, Francois listened closely.


This is a unique website which will require a more modern browser to work!

Please upgrade today!