Delicately poised in an ancient farming area of the Dutch province of Zeeland, Paul de Ruiter Architects have created a self-sufficient luxury home.
This glass box exhibits exceptional interior comfort thanks to its formal concept and the technology procured by its designers. From the outset, the client had wanted something simple and abstract, so the architects proposed two rectangular stacked volumes.
The first one is hidden underground and the second, supported by a great V-shaped pillar, stands above a striking and peaceful body of water. The project had to respect its surroundings, as the plot of land where it stands forms part of the “Red for Green”, a campaign established by the Dutch government with the aim of connecting the most ecological areas of the country. Building permission was granted on the one condition that the area was to return to its original natural state and become a new natural public space.
With the constructing of the villa, 40,000 m2 of natural land had to be regenerated to create both new recreation areas and an environment for plants and animals in danger of extinction to flourish. In a few years time, the 71,000 six-year-old trees will reflect this house’s name “the villa in the woods”, even though it may be difficult to view it that way now.
Situated in the basement is the entrance, garage, storeroom and a work space elevated over the water. The living area is in the floating glass box. This open plan design carries through the living room to the kitchen, bedrooms, bathroom and a patio. The entire outside of the building has been clad solely with glass.
A total of 70,000 m3 of earth had to be excavated for the construction of the pond. The views out of the property are breathtaking and the building itself visually dominates the surrounding landscape that will eventually regain the organic vigour that once characterised it.