Zaha Hadid

The Hague Villas, Cross House, 1991

Designed for The Hague Housing Festival, The Hague Villas project sought to encourage a new interpretation of the single-family home. In 1991, the city of The Hague invited seven international architects to design a house project in one of the city’s outlying neighborhoods. Two rows of four houses on identical lots occupy a site between a residential boulevard, a canal and gardens. On the two lots allocated to her, Zaha Hadid tackled the challenge of defining a new typology for the house, which, for conventional reasons, is a type of construction that has changed very little over time. These two villas, the Cross House and the Spiral House, are formed by the arrangement of their spaces, which, being designed in a way that fosters new spatial and social interactions, are trying to move as  far away as possible from preconceived notions about the house.

The Cross House is made up of a partially sunken base and two parallelepiped volumes crossing it. The first is hollowed out of the lower level and creates an excavated area of the volume which is turned into a patio. The second, a voluminous growth, seems to hover above the base. Service spaces and bedrooms are organized around the patio, while the upper level, mostly clad in glass, houses the common areas. The Cross House is an expression of two superimposed lifestyles, introverted and extraverted.

Claire Perraton

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