Fier op te Hei, Zeist

Klinker Manchester GT+FU
2.750 mverklinkerte Fassadenfläche

42.3

Fier op te Hei, Zeist

Clinker brick Manchester GT+FU
2.750 m2  Clinker brick-covered façade surface

42.3

A robust clinker brick skin 

In the Dutch town of Zeist, a new development is being built on the edge of the Utrechtse Heuvelrug forest. With “Fier op de Hei” (roughly translated as “pride of the heathland”), the architectural firm MIX architectuur of Ede has created seven forest villas there, each with four residential units. The surrounding landscape flows around the building, the modern architecture of which blends in harmoniously with the natural backdrop. This was achieved thanks to the mix of materials on the façades, where light concrete meets dark clinker brick. 

In order to offer the residents a maximum experience of nature, all apartments are positioned on the corner and have a dual aspect. Large windows with wide sliding doors bring the forest into the rooms. On the ground floor, the private verandas serve as outside rooms and form a bridge between the living rooms and the surrounding landscape. This flows around the free-standing structures that are lined up around a communal garden. Natural differences in height were integrated into the plan, or even reinforced.  

Although wood is used only on the verandas, the façade design is in harmony with the woodland surroundings: “On the first sketches that we made for this design, you can already see a robust skin, an allusion to the rough bark of the pines on the site, a skin with texture, solid, as a contrast to the concrete strips.” is how Reiner Ubels from MIX architectuur in Ede describes the concept for the building envelope. He found a robust clinker brick that has the necessary liveliness to produce this effect in the shape of the dark Hagemeister type Manchester GT + FU in a particularly narrow module size and 40 mm in height. This is thanks to its characteristic sintering, which gives the anthracite exciting blue nuances. This enabled the architects to achieve homogeneity in the overall appearance without the façades appearing too flat.   

This impression is reinforced by the wild-bond finish of the clinker brick, partly with the back stretcher of the stone. “We didn’t want any disruptive regularity or pattern, but homogeneity, because so much can already be seen in this façade,” says Ubels. To accentuate the clinker brick, the dark joints are deeper in the brickwork to the rear. 

»On the first sketches that we made for this design, you can already see a robust skin, an allusion to the rough bark of the pines on the site, a skin with texture, solid, as a contrast to the concrete strips

Reiner Ubels, MIX architectuur, Ede

Project data

Fier op der Hei, Zeist

Architecture

MIX architectuur, Ede

Client

BPD, Amersfoort

Project architect

Reiner Ubels

Building

Reinbouw

Construction

Bartels Ingenieurs

Landscape architects

LOOSvanVLIET, wUrck

Clinker brick

Manchester GT+FU

Format

ModF (290 x 90 x 52 mm)

Photos

© Riesjard Schropp

Architectural context

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