Have you ever looked at your pet and realized you are so in love with them that you’d do essentially anything to make sure they’re safe and happy? Well, that’s precisely the thought process some homeowner’s in the Netherlands had when they asked the designers of their new house to work with them on building a home that would let them watch their dogs play in the yard from any angle. They meant it, too; the finished home is completely circular, providing the owners with a 360 view so that they can keep an eye on and enjoy the site of their dogs while the animals play happily outside and get plenty of exercise.
The home, called the 360 Villa, was designed and brought to life by Dutch architects 123DV. For their purposes, the home gave designers a chance to explore how architecture can be a medium that is fully and genuinely inclusive of humans and animals and their lives, needs, and habits, rather than just being built around them. The dogs in question are a pair of stunning and well behaved Alaskan Malamutes; quite large and affectionate animals who are clearly much loved by their owners, a Dutch couple.
The finished custom home is, on its exterior, wrapped in a glazing that acts like constant glass window panes. This, in partnership with the shape, is what allows those inside to see out to the yard, all the way around the house and from any interior vantage point. This way, when the dogs want out again but the owners must tend to responsibilities inside, everyone can have what they want and the owners can still keep a safe eye on their furry friends while they’re working or cleaning indoors.
In total, the villa encompasses 85 square meters; this size was determined to provide ample space for the couple and their two large dogs, considering everyone in the interior planning as well as the exterior and shape choices. Even the dogs are afforded ample space to play and move freely and comfortable when they are inside, which is beneficial since they are of a high energy breed.
The exterior of the house is surrounded by a gently sloping lawn that gives the dogs all kind of space but also affords the house a higher vantage point in the yard. This provides an effectively uninterrupted view of the dogs from the inside of the house while they play. The surrounding glazing is protected from sight-blurring rain splatter and sun glare by the way the roof extends over the edge at the wall, acting as a shading canopy without blocking out the stunning abundant natural light the windows let into the home’s interior space.
Of course, any house that’s made with an entirely glass exterior and wraparound windows needs to find other creative ways to preserve privacy. This is another way that the incline of the yard serves a tangible purpose. The top of the slope actually meets the window higher up on the side that faces the street rather than the private yard. This affords the home a great view without exposing its entire wall length out to the sidewalk and passersby.
Inside, the home is largely open concept in order to make it feel extremely spacious and full of good flow despite its slightly more modest (by some standards) square footage. The central social space in particular is open-plan, letting the kitchen, dining room, living room, and the sliding doors that lead to an open deck feel like a wonderfully melded hub space. This area actually takes up about two-thirds of the home.
The private areas of the home are unique because they can also be opened out into the main living area for extra effective flow, or closed off for more spatial delineation thanks to a set of sliding doors that portion out the bedroom space and bathroom. When it’s all opened up wide, a large circular skylight above the central living room floods the entire home in cheerful, natural light.