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This Knockout Modern House Hovers Over Preserved Dune

The Netherlands is home to some inventive architecture—a tour of the nation's second-largest city will put a visitor at arm's reach of work by Rem Koolhaas's OMA, MVRDV, and others. But this private residence, in the Dutch city of Bloemendaal (about 47 miles north of Rotterdam and quite near Amsterdam) is grand on a smaller scale and for reasons that have more to do with what it doesn't do than what it does. The house doesn't, for example, impede on its preserved landscape, a series of rolling dunes in the city's Park Brederode. The house—named Villa V—has the designers at the firm Paul de Ruiter Architects to thank for its sensitive siting.

To avoid interfering with dune views on the construction site, the firm devised a scheme that sets much of the house into a hill and stacks a glass-fronted volume atop this subterranean one. The benefit of this setup is a series of light-bathed common areas, including a kitchen, living room, and dining area. The interiors, designed by i29 Interior Architecture, keep things light and bright, with plywood-veneer surfaces instead of simple whitewashed walls. To boot, the house has a geothermal-pump heating system and a solar panel array on the roof, which is planted with moss.

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