Architecture

Solar-powered luxury home has curves in all the right places

Casa Kwantes' expansive glazed facade curves around an olive tree
Casa Kwantes' expansive glazed facade curves around an olive tree
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Casa Kwantes was completed in 2016, but MVRDV has only just released build details
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Casa Kwantes was completed in 2016, but MVRDV has only just released build details
Casa Kwantes' lounge has a long fitted wooden unit that includes kitchen cabinets, pantry, and access to the basement and a guest bathroom
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Casa Kwantes' lounge has a long fitted wooden unit that includes kitchen cabinets, pantry, and access to the basement and a guest bathroom
Stairs lead to Casa Kwantes' bedrooms
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Stairs lead to Casa Kwantes' bedrooms
Casa Kwantes' expansive glazed facade curves around an olive tree 
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Casa Kwantes' expansive glazed facade curves around an olive tree 
Casa Kwantes' glazed facade faces south onto a courtyard garden
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Casa Kwantes' glazed facade faces south onto a courtyard garden
Casa Kwantes features solar panels atop its roof
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Casa Kwantes features solar panels atop its roof
The 480 sq m (5,166 sq ft) Casa Kwantes is located in west Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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The 480 sq m (5,166 sq ft) Casa Kwantes is located in west Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Casa Kwantes' large fitted wooden unit 
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Casa Kwantes' large fitted wooden unit 
Casa Kwantes' curved form offers a visual link to all areas of the house
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Casa Kwantes' curved form offers a visual link to all areas of the house
Casa Kwantes is Intended as a contemporary take on 1930s modernism
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Casa Kwantes is Intended as a contemporary take on 1930s modernism
The design process of Casa Kwantes saw MVRDV collaborate closely with the owners
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The design process of Casa Kwantes saw MVRDV collaborate closely with the owners
Casa Kwantes' expansive glazed facade curves around an olive tree
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Casa Kwantes' expansive glazed facade curves around an olive tree
Casa Kwantes' facade curves around an olive tree
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Casa Kwantes' facade curves around an olive tree
The 480 sq m (5,166 sq ft) Casa Kwantes is located in west Rotterdam, the Netherlands
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The 480 sq m (5,166 sq ft) Casa Kwantes is located in west Rotterdam, the Netherlands
From street-side, Casa Kwantes doesn't offer much to the prying eyes of passers-by
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From street-side, Casa Kwantes doesn't offer much to the prying eyes of passers-by
Casa Kwantes is accessed from street side by this door
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Casa Kwantes is accessed from street side by this door
Casa Kwantes' unconventional facade makes for an unconventional interior layout too
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Casa Kwantes' unconventional facade makes for an unconventional interior layout too
Architectural drawing of Casa Kwantes
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Architectural drawing of Casa Kwantes
Architectural drawing of Casa Kwantes
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Architectural drawing of Casa Kwantes
Architectural drawing of Casa Kwantes
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Architectural drawing of Casa Kwantes

Dutch firm MVRDV recently unveiled Casa Kwantes: a luxury pad that has a brick facade with few windows facing the street for privacy and a large curved glazed facade facing the courtyard that offers plenty of light. Envisioned as a contemporary take on 1930s modernist design, the enviable home also boasts energy-efficient technology, including solar power.

The 480 sq m (5,166 sq ft) family house is spread over two main floors, plus a small basement. It's located in west Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and the layout was designed in close collaboration with the owners to best suit their needs.

The first floor includes a two-car garage, kitchen, living room, dining room, and library. The living room has a long fitted wooden unit that runs the length of the entire wall and includes storage cabinets, in addition to basement and guest bathroom access. The second floor includes two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Naturally, the unusual shape of the glazed facade means that the interior layout of the home is pretty unconventional. Still, from the photos at least, it appears to work well and allows ample natural lighting while maintaining privacy from passersby on the road. The curving shape also offers a visual link between different areas of the house and, in a nice touch, wraps around an olive tree.

Casa Kwantes' large fitted wooden unit 
Casa Kwantes' large fitted wooden unit 

"The curved glass continuously wraps its way around the interior facade on both levels creating continuous views from one room to another," explains MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs."As well as a visual connection, an exterior balcony also creates the opportunity to easily walk from one space to the next without disruption. The glass reflections of the central tree continuously change and bounce around as one moves throughout the house and changes their perspective."

Though Casa Kwantes is connected to the grid, its roof sports a large solar panel array. MVRDV says the home may prove entirely self-sufficient in electricity – this will be tested in the coming year. A ground-source heat pump transfers heat to and from the ground and, in conjunction with a heat exchanger, provides energy-efficient heating and cooling.

Casa Kwantes was completed in 2016.

Source: MVRDV

4 comments
McDesign
Lovely - absolutely lovely. But, given the Rotterdam news we've heard this week, I wonder . . .
Rustin Lee Haase
Very attractive but not child safe. It looks like a child could hang himself on the gap between the steps by slipping his body through but with too big of a head for him to go all the way through. Even if he could slip all the way, he would be in for a large potential fall. Clear acrylic at the back of each step would solve that problem without too much aesthetic "damage". Still, these steps are a lot safer than what you see on the Brady Bunch. :-)
LarryWolf
LIke the outer design but don't like the wasted 'narrow hallway' affect by the windows for some portions. I hate hallways. I prefer homes designed orbitally around a central entrance and admittance to each room via a central atrium type room. I designed a house this way and in the center was a huge living room with sunken firepit waterfall which was 42' across on every side was fabulous then office to one corner, kitchen to the other corner, master to the 3rd corner, and media room to the 4th corner with additional bedrooms upstairs for kids away from parents!
ljaques
@LarryWolf, I'm with you. More connected rooms, fewer hallways. I imagine a young mother might like to be able to see every square inch of her home so she could keep an eye on the kids (drowning in the unfenced pool?), but wouldn't that prompt her to require every area to be -spotless- at every moment, since it's all visible to anyone in the home? I value privacy a -whole- lot more than the designer of this house did. Long-distance runners (or joggers) and exhibitionists will just adore the design of this home.