Homemade: DIY House by Reset Architecture
Clients: Anne and Merijn
Architects: Reset Architecture
Location: Vossenpelssestraat, Nijmegen (NL)
DIY House by Reset Architecture stands on the access road to a new residential district. It marks the transition from the fields to the housing area, forming a sort of gateway. However, it was not slated to become an eye-catching landmark. “With all the houses that seem to be caught up in a competition for self-actualization, this pomposity can be a bit much,” say the architects.
But how should a house design look when the clients want to build it themselves? In this case, the path was characterized by a willingness to engage in dialogue. Right from the initial planning phase, the architects worked closely with their clients Anne and Merijn, who had seized the opportunity to by a plot of land in the new residential area. The result is a loft-like ground floor where the spaces flow into each other. The stairway is accommodated in a wood-clad box at the centre of the house. Upstairs, the relationship is turned around: the stairs open onto a gallery on the first landing. Three bedrooms and a bathroom offer the family the possibility to withdraw.
As an art historian, client Anne and architect Theo Mathijssen talked about the appearance of the house from references such as Mark Rothko and Josef Albers. Further inspired by the blurring colours of the foggy riparian landscape setting, Reset Architecture decided to paint the horizontal wooden slats in shades of green which appeared as a gradation when installed. After the obligatory snicker about “50 shades of green”, the clients expressed their willingness to take on the extra work involved in the painting.
As the building phase did not involve any great activity on the part of professionals, the wooden construction of the single-family dwelling was kept simple. Finally, to quote the clients on how they assess their work: “Our house is more than a place to live. It is a work of art, part of our family history and a warm home.”