Inspired by a Moroccan riad, the interior living spaces of Villa Stardust by MVRDV are oriented around a central patio, which functions as an extra outdoor chamber. The materials and color palette give the dwelling a Mediterranean look and feel. As a retrofit building, the villa is a highly sustainable project following circular economy principles.
Ph. Daria Scagliola
As a former commercial building with limited privacy due to neighboring structures, the key strategy in this transformation is the insertion of a vibrant central garden patio. Villa Stardust’s central garden is an outdoor living room that opens to the stars but entirely enclosed by the building at its four perimeters.
Perforating the building’s deep footprint, typical for commercial structures, the 230 m2 garden allows the building to breathe, ensuring that all interior living spaces are awash in natural light and ventilation. Sufficient floor space remains of the 1000m2 total to not only house a family of five and provide a clear interior-exterior connection, but also to accommodate the client’s small medical practice—all on a single level.
All interior living spaces are oriented around the garden, which facilitates a strong visual connection between different spaces, and a chill-out space for the client’s teenagers. As such, the garden becomes the most colorful part of the villa. With its Oregon pine windows, terracotta tiles, and blue-glazed stones for the patio’s pond feature, it not only draws natural light in but also serves as a visual attraction. As a retrofit building, the villa is a highly sustainable project following circular economy principles, and also incorporates additional recycled materials in the patio’s floor cover such as re-purposed terracotta tiles.
“The residents asked us to design the villa after they had already bought the building; I think it’s very clever that, as non-architects, they understood its potential,” says Nathalie de Vries, co-founder of MVRDV. MVRDV partner Fokke Moerel, whose team led the renovation, adds: “We left external walls intact, to guarantee privacy, and then reduced square metres considerably to improve livability. At 770 m2, the villa is still quite spacious, but by using symmetry and a quiet color palette, with a few Mediterranean accents, we created a sunny atmosphere.”
Ph. Daria Scagliola
Just as the patio’s colorful resplendence functions as a visual focal point in a regular, orthogonal floor plan arrangement, color, and Moroccan embellishments become focal points within the interior’s otherwise quiet palette. For example, fit-out includes a kitchen with a powder-coated stainless steel block as well as a tribune structure in the living space which simultaneously incorporates a media room and storage. Additionally, Moroccan tiles line the bathroom floors, lending a rich visual texture to the villa’s tranquil interior backdrop. This hierarchy establishes a consistent rhythm that creates a consistent harmony, both within the home and between the home and the natural environment.
DATE: 2020 / LOCATION: Rotterdam, The Netherlands / AREA: 770 m2 (built) / PROGRAM: single family house / STATUS: built / DESIGN: MVRDV / FOUNDING PARTNER IN CHARGE: Nathalie de Vries / Partner-Director: Fokke Moerel /DESIGN TEAM: Roy Sieljes, Elien Deceuninck, Daniella Persson, Natalia Lipczuk /COPYRIGHT: MVRDV 2018 – (Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries) / PROJECT MANAGEMENT: DEGVAST huisadvies & ontwerp, Ron de Gast Contractor: AvT interieur en bouw, Adriaan van Trigt Planting Advisor: Stek, Rotterdam / PHOTOS: Daria Scagliola