It doesn’t get better than this. The dream house of a choreographer (Jan van Opstal) and a theater director (Jo Willems), who also work as landscape architects, this vacation home rental in Maastricht is a uniquely creative architectural project, surrounded in grounds that are a work of art in themselves.
Designed in collaboration with Wiel Arets Architects, the property is a loft-like space that dazzles in white, wrapped in “glass skin”. Its combination of transparent and opaque glass walls and soft curtains can be opened and closed in response to daylight and seasons.
An open-plan space, it has no interior walls, but concrete columns support the structural slabs and harmonize with the neutral palette. We love the freestanding staircase, conceived as an independent piece of sculpture, that drops down from the central mezzanine, almost reaching the white cubes and polished floor below it. The house is minimally furnished, in blacks and whites, and cool features include the angular, freestanding bath in the master bedroom.
The surrounding gardens are an added bonus. Reflecting the owners’ theatrical backgrounds, they are laid out like a stage set. Divided into “rooms” each with its own plot, they feature soft sculptural trees and bushes, with a rectangular pond that takes center stage.
It’s a dynamic open-air theater that’s constantly changing and full of surprise elements. The garden has been featured in The Gardener’s Garden, a book of 250 must-see gardens around the world. It has been used for public events and exhibitions, including one for renowned glass artist Bert van Loo, two of whose designs reside permanently in the grounds.