Paul de Ruiter

Villa Schoorl

Unobtrusive villa amid a reclaimed rural landscape

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1037 Pd R Andrew van Egmond BLAD Schoorl B18
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1037 Pd R Andrew van Egmond BLAD Schoorl B17
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Villa Schoorl sits amid lush greenery in a rural area of reclaimed land close to the famous North Holland dunes. Given the setting, an objective to create a seamless overlap between indoor spaces and the surrounding countryside seemed fitting. The building is understated by design, and was built largely from natural materials, with sustainable techniques.


Unobtrusive design

The surrounding area is characterised by historical land subdivisions, original roads and waterways, and old mills and farmhouses, and boasted few villas to speak of before this. Consequently, it was important that our design conformed to the rural vernacular, regarding both form and construction materials, and that the villa did not distract attention from the scenic beauty of the natutal landscape. This we achieved in part by by sinking the bulk of the villa below the level of the raised mound ground on which it sits.

The villa’s unobtrusive design minimises distraction from the scenic beauty of the natutal landscape

Abundant natural light

Despite its semi-subterranean design, the villa enjoys an abundance of natural light, thanks to a central glass atrium that continues below ground level, where the hobby room and children’s bedrooms are located. The master bedroom, bathrooms and yoga room are also underground, and enjoy an equal abundance of natural light via floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Transparant yet private

Viewed from the outside, the living area on the upper floor appears to hover above the subterranean level. The former, with its floor-to-ceiling glass walls, is crowned by an eye-catching sawtooth roof whose alternate slopes allow protection against direct sunlight and the admission of daylight. The roof, given its form, also contributes to the villa’s contextual fit, as do the blank walls, which are clad in vertical slats of untreated timber to match the nearby forests. The openness and blending of indoor and outdoor space allowed by the glass walls have been balanced with provisions for privacy and sunshade, which are served by vertically folding screens along the western end of the building. Meanwhile, the outdoors-while-indoors theme finds further articulation in the covered terrace at the villa’s southern end.

Energy self-sufficiency

Most of the villa’s energy needs are met via solar panels on the southernmost slope of the roof, and, in the wintertime, a wood stove connected to the central heating system maintains an even room temperature throughout the villa in the most efficient manner possible.

Project details


Location Schoorl, The Netherlands
Total floor area 470 m²
Start of design April 2011
Project completion Summer 2013


Client Private
Design Paul de Ruiter Architects
Project architects Paul de Ruiter
Project team Chris Collaris, Mariya Gyaurova, Marek Matrtaj, Niels Groeneveld, Elena Rodas
Interior design X+L Interiors
Interior mvnu multipl-x
Photography Tim Van de Velde
Landscape Architect Andrew van Egmond
Photography Andrew van Egmond

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