“It is every architect’s dream to design and build their own home,” says Arjen Aarnoudse, founder together with his wife Farah Agarwal of the studio the Way We Build. And indeed they did, together with their two children, in the town of Driemond near Amsterdam. They went all the way with sustainability, building only in wood, with a geothermal heatpump and solar panels. “When we started, this way of working was very new,” says Farah. “Now it is the new normal.” Read my article for Dwell about their house below:Read the article…
For the American magazine Dwell I wrote about the transformation by MASA Architects of a post-war gym in the center of Rotterdam into a polished and tranquil family home. The contrast between the rough brick and concrete of the old gym and the rich materials the architect introduced, such as bamboo, natural stone, aluminum, frosted glass and greenery, make the house a wonder of domestic architecture. The dedication to detail on the part of architect and owner is extraordinary. “I like to make something new out of something old”, the owner says. Read my story here:
“Jo Vanweert knew two things when he decided to build his first home: It would be on the highest point in his small hometown of Bilzen, Belgium, where his family has lived for generations, and it would be designed by his cousin Jan Vanweert, an architect 11 years his senior. Jo told his cousin he wanted a house that had clean lines inspired by classic modernism and that took advantage of its hilltop site.
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“What his cousin delivered has a modernist rigor tempered with a surprising softness, a twist that turned out to be perfect for the younger Vanweert’s evolving family.”
Read my report from Bilzen, Belgium on the house with the concrete curtains for Dwell: Dwell Belgium mei juni 2020
For the American magazine Dwell I wrote a piece about an intriguing house in Schoorl designed and built by its owners, the couple Ayla van Geest and Jordie Kuin, together with Ayla’s parents. By expanding an existing house they made space for three generations – and for their French bulldogs Bullie and Cooper! Ayla and Jordie furnished their well-designed expansion with lots of ‘pre-loved’ building materials.
One of this year’s memorable exhibitions was Fibra Architectures in the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris. It was about architecture made of, yes, fiber: seagrass, bamboo, palm leaves, reeds, sugarcane leaves, banyan tree roots, straw, mycelium, wheat stalks, wicker, willow branches and the humblest of all – grass.