• location: Zaltbommel
  • program: Private house and studio
  • client: Private client
  • design: 1999-2006
  • completed: 2015
  • design team: Juliette Bekkering, Corine Keus met Stan Aarts, Vincent Grandgagnage, Michel Leunis, photos by Daria Scagliola

Villa 'het Tolhuis' nominated for the Concrete Award 2015


The design for this toll house is a conversion of an existing toll house with working and living areas. The design is fully built by the owners themselves and reflects their passion for exceptional materialization and building techniques. The result is an extraordinary house in which old and new are interwoven. A meandering wall connects the different volumes into a self evident and coherent whole. With patios, walled gardens and large sliding doors, the garden is drawn into the house, so that inside and outside flow together. Skylights, narrow strip windows and large glass surfaces provide a surprising play of light in the house.

The design provides with a living area, working area and a big studio, which could be used in the future as a gallery. The existing situation was a cluttered structure of different annex buildings and garden walls, which were added to the toll house in last decades. The toll house itself had become invisible. In the design several parts are demolished and all building components are brought together as one volume. In this way the extension has a strong appearance and the toll house is done full justice.

A meandering wall connects all the building parts. A corridor on the street side, located at the back of the volume of the toll house, functions as a connecting element for the different building parts and functions also a sound buffer against the traffic noise. This corridor gives access to all areas of the building. The different living areas are placed transversal to the corridor: living, kitchen, studio, patio, working area and storage, together a form of series of big and small spaces, each with their own characteristics and atmosphere.

During winter and summer different parts of these areas can be closed or added so the house can move along and can be used in different ways during the seasons. The rainwater falls as a cascade into a pond in the living room inside the house, this water is used for the gray water circuit as well as a decorative element in the house. Inside the house all facilities are integrated in the concrete elements, such as the floor- and wall heating, lighting, wall sockets and vacuum system.

The building is made out of in-situ concrete, which is detailed with great precision so formwork, pattern of spacers and specific characteristics of the material are part of the composition. The facade and overhangs have been carried out with a special, imported from England, dark flat brick executed in glued brickwork. The brickwork folds itself fully three dimensional around the contour of the house, thus giving the building a solid sculptured appearance. Solid oak wood window-panels shape the encasing that frame the view.

The outdoor area is part of the design of the house and inside the house nature is felt and sensed everywhere. Small enclosed gardens and patios, low windows or strategic roof lights catch the daylight and project it on the walls. Together they strengthen the feeling of a house as a green oasis behind the long garden wall.


  • From Decorated Duck To Filigree Sculptures Juliette Bekkering, 121-132

  • Villa het Tolhuis, Zaltbommel, Een schone zaak, in Cement, May 2016

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  • Villa het Tolhuis, Zaltbommel, Goed werk heeft tijd nodig, on Tektoniek, May 2016

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  • Betonprijs 2015 - The best concrete constructions in the Netherlands in the last two years, January 2016

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  • Bekkering Adams adds concrete extension to a traditional Dutch toll house, on Dezeen.com, 26 December 2015

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  • Villa het Tolhuis, in De Grote Rotterdams Kunstkalender, 2016

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  • Huis in transit Tolhuis in Zaltbommel door Bekkering Adams architecten, in De Architect, October 2015

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  • Sculpturaliteit, Scenografie en Materialiteit, in De Architect, May 2015

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  • Inaugural lecture Prof. Juliette Bekkering: Architecture a user’s manual, about sculpturality, scenography and materiality, November 2014

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  • Intreerede prof.ir. Juliette Bekkering: Architectuur een gebruiksaanwijzing, over sculpturaliteit, scenografie en materialiteit, January 2015

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  • Leading Female Architects, in Discover Benelux Magazine, November 2014

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  • Bekkering Adams Architecten Rotterdam, Krachtige Sculpturaliteit, in Bouw nr 6, June 2005

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  • Betonwand met expressie, in Bouwwereld, April 2005

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  • Villa Zaltbommel: Royale woning oogt massief en verrast met details, in Cobouw, June 22 2004


We are an internationally operating, dynamic and versatile architectural office, looking and working with an open mind towards our future society.  With an enthusiastic team of architects and designers we work on innovative and sustainable projects with a strong identity, defined by expressive architecture with a tactile expression of material and detail.


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