Rebel House in the Dutch city of Almere is the rewarding result of a collaboration between a talented pair of architects (Jacco van Wengerden and Gijs Baks) and a forward-thinking client. ’What attracted us to the project was the client’s wish for a distinctive and tailor-made house, something off-the-wall,’ says van Wengerden. ’She was open to conversations about different possibilities. This left an opportunity for surprise - for us and the client.’

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The parcel of land was bought by the client - a woman living alone but often visited by her grandchildren - from the local municipality, who made a set of plots available for housing in the city’s Homeruskwartier Oost district, on the western side of the centre. Named ’Ik bouw in mijn tuin’ (which translates to ’I build in my garden’), the particular site measures a humble 9m by 8m and came with a building height restriction of just 3.7m.

Going through several options for the structure’s overall volume and roof formation, the team finally settled on a butterfly-shaped roof and a distorted-rectangle footprint. A small, detached triangular bike shed completes the property. The budget was modest, but the house still offers a distinct identity, thanks to the free-spirited design approach, as well as the resulting corrugated aluminium sheeting that clads façade and shimmers in the light.

The 72sq m timber-lined interior makes for a warm and generous, one-bed open-plan space, which offers room for a guest bed when needed. A separate internal cluster includes the bathroom and storage space (cloakroom cupboard, cabinets, wardrobe and a fold-out guest bed). The house is bathed in light with views and openings on all sides, while a set of hidden double doors can open up in the summer, completely uniting indoors and outdoors.