Studio Weave

Het Huis Beiaard . Europan 11 . Almere

Studio Weave . Buro Happold

The brief for the Europan site we chose in Almere, the Netherlands called for a cultural pavilion situated on the beach with a unique appearance in order to attract attention to the new development. This same building would then need to travel into the woods where it will become a woodland home.

As a woodland home it is required to set an example for individual architectural experimentation within a woodland landscape and promote the character of the development as a place that offers a care-free holiday feeling less that 20km away from Amsterdam.
For our design entry, Het Huis Beiaard, we decided to create a legendary backstory (see left). Imagine: Het Huis Beiaard lifts himself up off the ground onto six giant legs and walks out of the woods to the beach for a holiday, standing tall on his six legs as he looks out for miles around.
When he’s back in the woods he turns over onto his back and the legs become six chimney-like structures that formally nestle him into the woods and create playful, unique living spaces like tree-houses. By flipping upside-down rather than coming apart and re-assembling, Beiaard creates two different buildings but is recognisable as one ‘animal’, suitable for both functions, and more efficient and economic to move.
Het Huis Beiaard is timber clad in a herringbone pattern with untreated boards interspersed with blackened, charred boards that create a tweed-like texture.

The Story of Het Huis Beiaard

Het Huis Beiaard (The House Beiaard) is named after Het Ros Beiaard (The Horse Beiaard). Het Ros Beiaard was a magic, powerful bay horse that was misunderstood and feared so locked up in a great fortress, until one day, he was given to four brothers. The oldest brother was also supernaturally strong and he and his brothers loved Ros Beiaard and he loved them.
When the King came after the brothers, Ros Beiaard grew big enough to carry all four away to safety. While fleeing, they came to an enormous river and Ros Beiaard took a huge leap over the water that was so powerful, his hooves cracked the rock he leapt off into two.
The King, unable to catch the brothers then captured their father and demanded Ros Beiaard in return for his release. The brothers were thus forced to give up their magic horse and their father was spared but the King ordered that Ros Beiaard be drowned.
Ros Beiaard was forced into the river with a heavy millstone chained to his neck, but was so strong he demolished the millstone and escaped to live in the woods for ever more.
Like Het Ros, Het Huis is a big, magic creature with special abilities: he can walk about on his giant legs, adapt to the needs of his inhabitants, and understand human speech.
He is kind and loyal but due to his supernatural strength and size, he can be a little frightening so like Het Ros, Het Huis retreated to the woods to live alone. This is where the story of Het Ros ends, but for Het Huis there is a new chapter…

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