In 2001 we got our very first commission as Sputnik office. Two pensionados were planning to move from the Randstad to the countryside and had specific ideas about their new home. One of which was that the mother of the lady of the house would move in and have her own quarter inside the house. Another was the wish for a garage for the oldtimer car that the husband was restoring.
The site came with some development rules. The total volume of a new building above ground was not allowed to be bigger than the volume that was demolished on the site. A small 1,5 story house and a shed were torn down. This presented us with the challenge to fit the brief in the allowed volume. It was clear that it would never fit. Therefore we proposed to place almost half of the house under ground. The bedrooms and bathroom and the garage were dug in and placed around a patio to provide daylight.