Four rows of patio houses make up Patio Island, with the middle house of each row linked to the street by narrow passages, allowing for the potential hanging paintings or storing of garden tools and bicycles. Each house has a separate rooftop unit positioned to prevent visual intrusion to and from the neighbours. The roofs can be reached from the patio via swimming-pool type ladders and used as terraces, presenting themselves as a possible meeting place for neighbours.
If Hagen Island is the most open of the three islands, Patio Island is the most introverted. Forty-four houses are arranged in a block of four rows also surrounded by a ring road. Whereas Hagen Island is open and accessible to all, a continuous perimeter surrounds Patio Island and provides a clear boundary between public and private space.
Within this wall there are four rows of black-slate houses that are connected to the outside by narrow corridors, each with its own entrance to the outside.
These doors are camouflaged against the perimeter wall. About 0.5 m thick, the doors look like they belong to a bunker and not a suburban home. But once you’re on the inside, the house performs a complete 360° turn from closed to open and introverted to extroverted. It’s as if the architects split the house in two where the pitched roofline reaches its highest point, glazing the cut entirely and transforming half of the house into an outdoor patio.
There is yet another terrace on the second floor from where there is a view out over Patio Island, all rooftops oriented to the southwest. The cut, the patio, the perimeter wall and the orientation means that the house is both sunny all day long and that all its domestic activities are exposed to the exterior patio.
The Watervillas are a residential neighborhood, so please respect the privacy of its inhabitants if you do visit.
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- Copyright: MVRDV