Symmetry sometimes seems like a lost art in a world increasingly filled with asymmetrical architecture. This elegantly simple modern box of a home almost disappears in the landscape in its closed configuration, a dull gray-green industrial-looking box lost in the forest. “Merry-go-round” is a vacation home that looks wide open at first glance, but changes at the whim of the occupants.
Reversing the typical home floor plan, the circulation spaces are set around the outside rim of the interior space – a single continuous hallway wraps the whole structure and adds privacy to this otherwise open one-floor set of rooms within.
Rather than rely on clever built-in tricks, offbeat angles or ostentatious materials, architects of the Amsterdam firm Ira Koers allowed for the exterior pattern of this house to change organically with the opening and closing of window shutters operated by its occupants.
More from the architects
“Although ideas about recreation and the design of the landscape have changed over the years, the typology of the holiday cottage has hardly altered at all. Ever since the recreational outing of several days or more came into vogue in the sixties, we have seen the same mini-version of the standard home. Whereas the confined space of a boat or caravan has led to clever design solutions, the country cottage has never developed an identity of its own.”
“The design of the Merry-Go-Round gives new meaning to the holiday cottage by taking the traditional floor plan with its rooms opening onto a central hallway and turning it inside out. The rooms are replaced by eight open alcoves in which furniture, color, light, material, lines of sight and views of the outdoor surroundings are bundled into one compact, fixed interior.”
“The alcoves are connected by a corridor that runs all around the perimeter of the dwelling and opens onto the landscape. By adjusting the façade, which is comprised of shutters, the vacationing residents of the Merry-Go-Round can determine the view and their privacy themselves.”