This country estate covers seven hectares within the picturesque woods of Almen. The drive that serves as entry onto the estate is lined on both sides with forest thicket and opens up to reveal a spectacular view of the residence surrounded by orchards and a natural pond. In the distance, the wooded banks of the Berkel River line the horizon. The Bevers country estate project was completed in June 2004 after undergoing intensive design and construction phases. Fokkema & Partners Architecten had been tasked with designing a spacious residence for an urban couple in search of country life.
Client Undisclosed
Timeline 2002 - July 2004

Region archetypes

Extensive research into the typical building structures of the region took place before the design phase. This research highlighted certain archetypes: farmhouses, covered haystacks and sheds form typical landmarks in the countryside. They have characteristic roof types such as a sloping saddle roof, classic ‘schild’ roof or ‘mansard’ type roof – (where each side of the roof is divided into 2 panels) – all constructed in the traditional Dutch way. Each structure within the farm unit: farmhouse, haystack and shed has its unique roof. Loose settings of farm units dot the countryside. As a result, the view of the rooftop silhouette changes according to the chosen vantage point. It is this dynamic characteristic of the regional landscape that formed the basis of the design of a unique, modern interpretation of the classical farm structure.

The continuous, dynamic roof structure of the estate is the result of a conscious merging of the saddle, schild and mansard roof types.

The continuous, dynamic roof structure of the estate is the result of a conscious merging of the saddle, schild and mansard roof types. Upon approaching the building the roof silhouette changes constantly, sometimes high and ‘open’ and then flowing downwards and becoming ‘closed’; sometimes sheltered but simultaneously providing panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
The details and the use of traditional and natural building materials create a structure that is in harmony with its natural surroundings.

Rooms spiralling out from the hallway

The central hallway represents the heart of the interior design and provides access to an elegant stairway that allows the visitor to fully experience the impressive height under the roof at its highest point. Rooms spiral out from the hallway, each providing a unique view of the surrounding countryside. Upstairs the dynamic roof structure ensures that each room has its own identity and countryside focus. All these factors make it impossible for residents to shut themselves off from a continual awareness of outdoor life, which is where it all started.