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Netherlander cottages created by Qurios Zandvoort by 2by4-architects

By Courtney Constable

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In the seaside city of Zandvoort in The Netherlands, a recreational park featuring a series of cottages that are collectively called Qurios Zandvoort recently opened thanks to some architectural expertise on the part of 2by4-architects.

Even if the unique little cottages didn’t hold quite so much stylistic and comfort based appeal, their mere location would probably be enough to pull guests in! The park is situated in a prime spot between the Formula 1 tracks, the Kennemerland national park, and Zandvoort’s most beautiful beach. It is also close to exciting cities like Haarlem and Amsterdam, but not so close that the peacefulness of its surroundings are interrupted by busy city life.

The unique location of this part attracts quite a diverse crowd, so designers wanted to avoid striving for a homogenous style of resort space for guests to stay in. After all, city dwellers looking for a peaceful escape to the beach might not have the same kind of holiday stay in mind as race track fanatics who came to see her roaring cars!

In a sprawling feat and a valiant (and rather successful) attempt to accommodate these diverse crowds, the park now boasts 100 cottages, two multi-faceted public pavilions, and a unique design that resembles that of a dune park. This mean that staying in the buildings is rather experiential as the sand shifts and flows quite literally against the sides of the dwellings and structures.

For both practicality and visual appeal, the cottages are situated on natural plateaus that all sit at different heights. This is partially to give different visitors varying views of and experiences in the natural landscape they’re visiting, but it was also an authenticity and building choice, since working with the plateaus let designers interrupt the land less in their building process.

This concept of working with the land is what influenced the choices in colour scheme, decor, and materiality. Designers wanted to create buildings that made sense with their surroundings and suited the natural atmosphere, rather than ones that contrast too heavily or stand out so much that they detract from the environment’s beauty. They chose an unpolished wood for the cottage facades, for example, that suits the rough dunes around the, so well that it almost looks like they’ve always been there. They’re slightly modern in their shape, which makes them unique, but not so contemporary as to look out of place.

Another part of making the cottages look like they’re one with the landscape was the choice not to fence them off. Of course, designers wanted to give guests lots of private space, but that applies mostly to creating interior havens. On the outside, the idea was to create a sense of limitless exploration and lack of boundaries, which fences would have counteracted.

This idea of fostering a “haven-like” atmosphere was of the utmost importance to everyone involve in the project, which is why planners chose to locate all parking offsite, outside of the park. Past the parking and through the entrance, guests encounter the visitors centre and, beyond that, nothing but gorgeous landscape free of city-life reminders.

The visitors centre is almost pavilion-like and bears a gorgeous floating style roof. In addition to providing all of the information and services guests could dream of, it also gives them a gorgeous panoramic view of the entire park first thing. Like the cottages, the visitor centre suits the natural space well thanks to the choice of black wood planks for the facade and light concrete for the interior.

Besides offering a gift shop and bike rentals to guest, this main pavilion is also on-site housing for staff! The basement boasts bedrooms and a common living room. These are entirely separate for the sake of staff privacy and, despite being right below halls for guest social functions and the like, they’re peaceful and quiet, letting staff truly feel at home and not like they never left work.

All of the buildings situated on the park were constructed, both in terms of shape and also material, with the intention of becoming naturally weathered. Designers purposefully chose materials that would withstand the test of time well in terms of endurance and damage resistance, but also things that will only look more charming with a little bit of wear and tear as far as exposure to the elements is concerned. The buildings will only begin to look more and more like they really belong.

Each of the individual cottages is designed with a different type of specific theme or experience in mind, accounting for the variety of guests that the park’s location attracts. These themes are communicated through and incorporated within details like the layout, the facade, and the interior decor of the cottages.

The “adventure cottages” are small, compact sheds with less space and modernity, intended for those who love the great outdoors and plan to spend most of their time there rather than in their accommodations. The “family cottage”, on the other hand, gives guests spacious social rooms, like the living and dining room, where many loved ones can gather. In order to keep them feeling connected to nature, however, sliding doors help these rooms open completely to the outdoors.

The “royal cottages” are all about luxurious comfort in a peaceful setting. These feature two floors, softly sprawling beds, and fully equipped large kitchen and dining rooms featuring all contemporary amenities despite the rustic setting. Finally, guests might choose the XL cottage. This space is intended for large groups of family and friends and is centred entirely around maximizing space.

Besides choosing a cottage that is tailored to their party, guests can choose specific themes and decor schemes to suit their interests as well! For example, they might consider inspirations like coffee, racing, denim, or nature. No matter the varying interiors, designers kept the cottages consistent enough to “speak the same visual language” and suit each other upon first glance, like different parts of a large family.

Photos provided by the architects.

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About Courtney Constable

Courtney has over five years experience as a writer, editor and consultant who specializes in architecture and home interiors. She has contributed content to HomeDSGN since 2018 and her work has also appeared on MyDomaine, Archilovers and Apartment Therapy. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

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