LAMERWOOD HOME | London, GB 2015


‘Design a beautiful house’ is a design brief that is challenging, as much as it is subject to very personal opinion and taste. We believe that true beauty lies in creating honest architecture with a strong character and a personal soul that reflects and enhances the users identity. Timeless, robust and inviting. Good architecture simply improves the quality of life, which in itself is a concept of beauty that reaches beyond aesthetic quality.

The Lamerwood site, with it’s extensive views and abundant landscaping, poses a grand and lush setting for an estate. Tempting it would be to propose an associated architectural gesture in the classical tradition of a grand mansion overlooking the landscape; as man dominating nature. Our approach is different and more subtle.

While maintaining the current position of the house with it’s beautiful views over the lake, we propose a design that is more in harmony with it’s surroundings and more in scale with it’s inhabitants in order to create a sense of home and belonging, rather than an iconic architectural statement.

By breaking down the volume into smaller elements, we create individually recognizable ‘houses’ with gabled roofs for the main functional zones, appealing to the common notion of a ‘home’. Together these form a varied and smaller scale building with a distinct profile.

The main zones are subdivided in a range of spaces, organized around two patios which insert light and inviting atmosphere in the house. The different spaces offer a wide variety of qualities and atmospheres, open-enclosed-cosy-dark-high-low-vast-compact. The comfort of living lies also in the luxury of choice.

Cross-connections link all the spaces along the east-west axis. North-south glazed facades preserve transparency and connection with the landscape. Hereby we create a non-hierarchical system in which spaces and functions have varying relations and could even be interchangeable. One can wander through the house, without obstructions, in different ways and discover a multitude of places.

We envision this house as an open and in principal endless system of spaces that facilitate and enhance contact, but also offer the possibility of retracting into privacy for the extended family inhabiting the house, feeling connected and ‘at home’.

In the end this is an exercise in modesty and restraint in order to create a home that offers a background for comfortable living rather than a format for life.


Design: Marijn Mees & Uda Visser

Year: 2015

Status: open competition entry

Client: undisclosed

Programme: villa

Size: 1050 m2

Budget: undisclosed

Renderings: MEESVISSER

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