Houten Herenhuis: Using engineered wood to reference the wooden residences in Scandinavia

In the IJburg district of Amsterdam, stands a five-storey bright red facade house that has been slotted in a thin plot of land.

Photography by Marcel van der Burg

Designed by the Dutch architectural house, MAATworks, Houten Herenhuis references the wooden residences usually found in Scandinavia. The name itself, which means wooden house, gave a further reference to the clients’ preference.

Constructed from panels of engineered pine wood, the interior of the house features exposed pine wood walls and ceilings to give the appearance of the house carving out from wood.

Painted bright red, the façade of the house is made from thin strips of wood to reference Falu red cladding – an easy maintenance house paint that has been commonly used in Sweden.

Painted bright red, the façade of the house is made from thin strips of wood to reference Falu red cladding. Photography by Marcel van der Burg

“Our clients loved the traditional Scandinavian houses,” architect Matteo Perna said. “Primarily in this design the use of timber, a material that is not commonly used in the Netherlands, brings the Scandinavian atmosphere.”

“Besides, we used Scandinavian red for the facade, but in a modern way so that it fits in with the street in the young IJburg district,” he continued.

Three types of engineered wood were used to construct the house; glue-laminated timber, commonly known as glulam, and cross-laminated timber (CLT) were used for the main structure.

Photography by Marcel van der Burg

Panels of cross-laminated pine form the angular staircase too which sets in the heart of the house. The staircase, placed against the wall, creates a division between different areas.

Two walls with square cut-outs offering views into these areas flank the staircase, which is topped by a skylight to ensures each of the five floors receive plenty of light.

“Via a large skylight and several small openings in the stairwell, daylight penetrates deep into the house, an effect that is further enhanced by the floor-by-floor widening of the stairwell as it rises,” said the architects.

A two-storey window cut through it provides views across the city from a split-level living room on the third floor and a combined kitchen-diner on the level below. Window seats are integrated into both floors so the residents can admire the scene.

Photography by Marcel van der Burg

The open-plan kitchen and dining room are finished with curved metal cabinets and an island.

Photography by Marcel van der Burg

Photography by Marcel van der Burg

Up on the first floor, two bedrooms occupy the first floor, while a studio and entrance hall are placed at ground level.

The pine wood panels are treated with a coating of lye to counteract the pine’s tendency to yellow over time. The rest of the house is finished simply, including floors covered with fair-faced concrete and white-grey doors.

The design also employs passivhaus principles with large expanses of south-facing glazing ensure that solar heat is retained in winter, while balconies and a roof overhang above the terrace form shading to prevent overheating in summer.

 Photography by Marcel van der Burg

Source: Dezeen