Located on the outskirts of a Dutch village and close to the sea, the house is backed by a wooded area and fronted by an open expanse of polder landscape. The design of the house responds to both its setting and to the seasons. The more intimate working and sleeping areas are located towards the back, where the enclosure of the woods provides an intimate setting, while the living areas enjoy panoramic views of the polder landscape to the front.
It was 2012 in the small Dutch village of Haren, and young Merthe Weusthuis made a single, fateful error. While inviting a group friends to her 16th birthday party on Facebook, she set the invitation to “public,” perhaps not realizing that Facebook allows people who’ve been invited to public events to turn around and invite their own friends. Before long, someone had “hilariously” invited another 500 people to Weusthuis’ party, and that was all it took for this viral joke to start spreading like influenza at a sneeze-fetish convention.
More and more people started sending out invites, and soon Weusthuis’ address and willingness to party was being broadcast to the entire world as effectively as if she was running Andrew W.K.’s Twitter account. Within a week, 30,000 invitations had been sent out for the once-teeny 16th birthday celebration, with pre-partiers setting up a party-related Twitter and website and even producing several unofficial party trailers. Look, it’s the Netherlands, OK? There’s not much else to do there.
The hour of the party neared, and revelry-hungry hordes started to march on Weusthuis’ home like Uruk-hai clutching red Solo cups instead of scimitars. Dutch police moved into action, trucking in extra police to deal with the crowd and evacuating the poor teenager and her family. Realizing that there was going to be no party after all, and that the phone signal in the village didn’t provide a good enough connection for them to check up on the tulip blog, the wannabe-partiers began to riot.