Dutch vacation home rises like a diamond out of the dunes

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The recently-completed Dune House, by Dutch firm Marc Koehler Architects (Photo: Filip Dujardin)

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Dutch firm Marc Koehler Architects recently completed a striking luxury vacation home in the island of Terschelling, Northern Netherlands. The aptly-named Dune House boasts sustainable design and is sympathetic to the surrounding landscape, rising like a diamond out of the sand.

Not to be confused with the other Netherlands-based Dune House, this Dune House comprises a total floorspace of 180 sq m (1,937 sq ft), and sports two main floors, plus a large basement.

The subterranean concrete basement is the most private area of the house and includes three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is softened with warm colors and small slit windows. The ground floor is more open and features the main living and dining areas, plus a kitchen and an additional bathroom. Climbing to the first floor requires one navigate a spiral staircase broken up by platforms. The experience of climbing the stairs and peering out the beautifully-detailed window is designed to recreate a dune beach walk.

"The Dune House is inspired in the experience of having a stroll through the dunes around which the house is built, as a walk from dune to dune, going up and down in the search for the spot on which you are able to gain the best views over the sea," according to Marc Koehler Architects.

The home's structure consists of a recycled concrete foundation and a wooden upper section of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and beams. The CLT panels were laser cut into shape before being put into place within two weeks – haste was necessary to avoid local island birds nesting in the structure. In addition, the red cedar wood cladding and roof was left untreated so it will age visibly over time.

Dune House boasts sustainable elements such as natural cooling promoted by operable grills integrated into the north and south facade of the home. There's also a mechanically-operated vent in the roof that releases rising warm air and prevents overheating when the biomass fireplace is being used (the home also sports underfloor heating within the concrete floor areas).

A solar panel array is located out of sight behind the home, reducing reliance on the grid (though we don't have a figure on exactly how much electricity this produces) and low energy appliances and lighting are installed throughout.

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