2014 AZ Awards Winner: Best Residential Interior

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Designed by i29 Interior Architects in the Netherlands, Home 09 makes dramatic use of pine plywood, for a cabin-cozy feel that connects to nature.

There is strength in numbers, or in this case the abundance and repetition of modest materials. At Villa Bloemendaal, in North Holland, humble plywood is elevated to star status in an expertly articulated interior by Dutch firm i29. Well known for its ingenious use of basic materials and dramatic colour blocking, the studio has given a two-storey house, designed in 2011 by Paul de Ruiter Architects, a theatrical sense of character and style.

Via a simple palette, the interior manifests into a white and wood envelope punctuated by furniture in black and grey. The confident yet quiet scheme allows the exterior of the villa, located in the Kennemer dunes, to enter into the conversation. Uninterrupted sightlines to the outdoors are paramount to the layout, and with no large visual distractions to compete with the views, the eye easily scans between inside and out.

The most striking feature, of course, is the pine panelling that covers various surfaces, including walls, sliding pocket doors, and such room-defining built-ins as an open fireplace in the living area, and bunk beds in the children’s room. Plywood usually gets covered over, but i29 has treated the utilitarian material as a high-end finish, using the multi-directional grain to give this villa a cabin-like coziness – one that matches the natural surroundings.

About the firm: Launched in 2002, i29 has won numerous awards for its artful interiors, many of which have appeared in Azure over the years, including an office covered entirely in industrial felt. Its portfolio also includes retail shops, schools, hotels and even a mobile unit.  i29.nl

What the jury said: “This is a stunning interior: elegant, well proportioned, and beautifully lit with natural light. The wood finishing is a bold move that warms everything up.” – Diego Burdi, juror

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