by STIRworldJun 22, 2021
Dutch architectural and urban design practice MVRDV has pumped new life into an outdated office space, transforming the former commercial building into a charming private residence in Rotterdam. Villa Stardust is designed for a family of five, and is inspired by a Moroccan riad, its sustainable choice of materials and quiet, earthy colour palette giving off an understated Mediterranean feel. The Netherlands-based practice, led by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, is hailed globally for its innovative, sustainable and expressive works, and Villa Stardust is no different.
Similar to a riad (a riad or ryad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace oriented around a central courtyard), Villa Stardust’s interior spaces are oriented around a lively central garden patio, whose insertion in the project is the key to transformation. The patio becomes the focal point of the house, also acting as an additional outdoor chamber and opening up the space, compared to the former commercial building which had limited privacy due to neighbouring structures.
The central garden patio is dubbed as an ‘outdoor living room, open to the stars’, and is entirely surrounded by the building on its four sides. “Perforating the building’s deep footprint, typical for commercial structures, the 230 sqm garden allows the building to breathe, ensuring that all interior living spaces are awash in natural light and ventilation,” informs MVRDV. They continue, “All interior living spaces are oriented around the garden, which facilitates a strong visual connection between different spaces, and a ‘chill-out’ space for the client’s teenagers”.
The 1000 sqm floor space is sufficient to provide a clear interior–exterior connection, host areas for the family and accommodate the client’s small medical practice, all on one floor. “The residents asked us to design the villa after they had already bought the building; I think it's very clever that, as non-architects, they understood its potential," says Nathalie de Vries, co-founder of MVRDV.
The garden becomes the most colourful part of the residential design, with the blue tiled pond surrounded by a few plants. The gleaming pond emanates a strong visual identity, with its fitted blue glazed stones that complement the patio’s repurposed, earth coloured terracotta tiles. The massive Oregon Pine windows usher in natural light into the retrofit building. The adaptive reuse employs circular economy principles with its use of sustainable materials and creates an expressive, expansive residence.
MVRDV partner Fokke Moerel, whose team led the renovation, adds, “We left external walls intact, to guarantee privacy, and then reduced square metres considerably to improve livability. At 770 sqm, the villa is still quite spacious, and by using symmetry and a quiet colour palette, with a few Mediterranean accents, we created a sunny atmosphere”.
The patio becomes the visual focal point in the Villa’s regular, orthogonal floor plan arrangement, while the colours employed in tandem with the Moroccan embellishments enliven the quiet interiors. The residence also includes a kitchen fitted with a powder-coated stainless steel block, along with a tribune structure, storage and media room that take up the space in the roomy living area. An array of Moroccan tiles line the bathroom floors inside the villa, presenting a rich visual contrast to the otherwise soft interiors. “This hierarchy establishes a consistent rhythm that creates a consistent harmony, both within the home, and between the home and the natural environment,” relays MVRDV.
Name: Villa Stardust
Location: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Area: 770 sqm
Design Programme: Private residence
Year of completion: 2020
Founding Partner in charge: Nathalie de Vries
Partner/Director: Fokke Moerel
Design Team: Roy Sieljes, Elien Deceuninck, Daniella Persson, Natalia Lipczuk
Copyright: MVRDV 2018 – Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries
Project Management: DEGVAST huisadvies & ontwerp, Ron de Gast
Contractor: AvT interieur en bouw, Adriaan van Trigt
Planting Advisor: Stek, Rotterdam