Van den Broek en Bakema was the permanent designer of Sporthuis Centrum, which would later become Center Parcs, in the 1970s and 1980s. The agency designed sober holiday homes that focused on the green environment with diagonal, floor-to-ceiling glass facades and sliding doors. Inspired by those designs, Concrete has now developed a concept in which the diagonal, floor-to-ceiling glass facades are much larger and are extended into a covered terrace, which could also be called a veranda.
The core of Concrete’s design is the concept of ‘bringing people together in nature’. This is achieved by creating intimate spaces where guests can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, with a living room in between to connect. By making glass from floor to ceiling, the living room flows seamlessly into the covered terrace, which therefore feels like an extension of the living room where nature and surroundings can be felt everywhere.
Combination of 3D modules and 2D elements
The holiday home for six people, which Center Parcs calls a cottage, consists of two prefabricated 3D modules that contain the entrance, the kitchen, several bedrooms and bathrooms. “The glass living room is the connecting factor between the two modules,” says Concrete. “The living room is the heart of the cottage and offers a wide view of nature, both at the front and at the back. To complete the immersion in nature, a lot of attention has been paid to the covered terrace adjacent to the living room, so that it can be used all year round.”
“A large dining table is central to the living room and kitchen, designed so that you don’t have to put away the board game when the six of you are having dinner. Another element that brings people together within Center Parcs is the corner sofa. We have designed the sofa in such a way that guests can vary the layout, whereby sitting apart together is now possible.”
The project is completely prefabricated, with the hybrid construction of 3D modules and 2D elements being assembled on location. In this way, construction can be completed quickly with little disruption to the environment. The hybrid construction also reflects the architectural concept: the 3D modules are the spaces with the most privacy; and the place where people come together is made with 2D elements for as much transparency as possible. The holiday home is easy to install on site, making it ready for guests in less than two weeks.
The prototype has been developed in such a way that it can also be clustered, with a staggered layout guaranteeing privacy and a view of nature.
The holiday home has been designed with an emphasis on sustainability and minimization of energy consumption. First of all, the holiday home is equipped with high-quality insulation, which keeps heat loss to a minimum. The holiday home functions entirely on electricity, sourced from photovoltaic cells strategically placed on the roof. A heat pump provides both heating and cooling.
“High-quality natural materials have been chosen as much as possible, which not only reduce the footprint but also contribute to a timeless design that will last a long time,” says Concrete. “The consistent use of wood blurs the distinction between inside and outside, strengthening the connection with nature. This natural, maintenance-free and neutral color palette is supplemented with the colors of the loose furniture and curtains. The stone floor, the laminated wood ceiling (CLT) and the pine wall cladding provide a neutral color palette. All this contributes to an environmentally friendly and sustainable stay, in which the preservation of the environment is central.”
The prototype for the holiday home was built at Parc Bispinger Heide in Germany and is available for rental to guests.