Pieter de Bruyn Kops

Pieter de Bruyn Kops


1 Villa for 3 Widows

Genomineerd voor Archiprix 2012

By pursuing something relatively small, this study concentrates on a rather simple program made wonderfully complex by the dynamic of the 3 widows, and by its interwoven relationship with the landscape.

The site of the villa is on the edge of old Deventer, now surrounded by last century’s onslaught of building. It is still, however, a relatively quiet place. One of its borders edge one of the local “kolken”, remnants of a past meander, and an old Ijssel dijk break, which still echo the rise and fall of the river.  The railroad plays a major role in how the landscape is now seen.  The villa itself will be situated in a young (80 year-old) forest. The building’s axis of symmetry is derived from a long vista perpendicular to the edge of the forest through the remainder of an old (90 year-old) orchard. A sunken bicycle path follows the route of an old agrarian footpath and cuts the location in two where the forest and the orchard meet. These two halves, the last of the old orchard and the forgotten forest are two completely different places, and it seems logical to emphasize this difference while bridging them together, the bridge or more politically, the villa, being where the two touch, meet, and flow into one another.

I had 3 chairs in my house, 1 for solitude, 2 for friendship, and 3 for society. - 67

As Thoreau implies in Walden there is a certain exponential growth of the social dynamic in going from 2 to 3.  3 is also the minimum number for a democratic process, in conclusive decision-making, and in debate. The average inhabitation of a widow is around the 9 year mark so it is deduced that a widow will pass away, on average, once every 3 years. When 1 widow dies there will be 2 left to comfort and console each other, and to further make arrangements in choosing the next co-inhabitant, if one isn’t already on the waiting-list.

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