Villa Welpeloo

This remarkable work of recycling reverses a few common practices when it comes to the building process. First, it started with reuse rather than design: the architects of Dutch firm Superuse sought scraps before deciding what the structure should look like.

Continue reading below
Our Featured Videos
Villa Welpeloo wood detail

Second, it does not take on ‘trash chic’ look of its materials, instead sporting a contemporary appearance built on ‘superuse’ that lowers transportation and construction costs as well as environmental impact. Steel framework from a local textile mill blends innocently into the background on the inside, while weathered wooden cladding on the exterior gives a naturally-aged appearance.

Villa Welpeloo library

Using a combination of Google Maps and local contacts, the designers and clients scoured areas within a few square miles to find scrapyards, unofficial junk piles, strange surplus trash and more – they also polled friends, family and colleagues to collect parts like broken umbrellas and busted billboards.

Villa Welpeloo drawing

In the end, the finished house is mostly made up of recycled material, each element analyzed then fit into an evolving layout. This is not to say that the feel and look of the place is secondary, simply that it grew out of what was at hand rather than an overarching objective design idea. The residence accommodates client needs for high ceilings and large walls surfaces for displaying modern art, but was built around what could be harvested from the region as well.

Achterkant Villa Welpeloo

Villa Welpeloo is a home for a couple who wish to display and preserve a collection of paintings and graphic work by young contemporary artists. Superuse Studios strived for the largest possible use of recycled materials.”

Material scouts have investigated the possibilities and availability of various materials from the vicinity of the site. The materials found have led to new forms and new ways of constructing.”

About the architects:

Superuse Studios is an international architecture office for circular and sustainable design. A design is not considered as the beginning of a linear, but circular process: A phase in a continuous cycle of creation and recreation, use and reuse. The latent properties of used materials and products offer an added value to new products and buildings. Our office views re-use as part of a circular design strategy. The reuse concept applies to building materials as well as energy supplies, human resources, water, traffic and food cycles.”