Paul de Ruiter Architects completed Villa K, a sleek contemporary home with stunning valley views and a low-energy footprint. Built into a hillside in the central German state of Thüringen, the eco-friendly villa is sheathed in a glass, steel, and concrete shell and topped with a green roof that blends the residence into its natural surroundings. Rooftop solar systems, climate-optimized orientations, and a heat exchanger keep home temperatures comfortable year round and minimize energy use.
Stretching east to west, the 248-square-meter house is divided into two main areas: the living areas and bedrooms on the south side; and the entrance, six-car garage, mechanical rooms, pantry, and hunting rooms tucked into the slope on the north end. The south-facing areas are clad in floor-to-ceiling glazing that opens the home up to stunning valley views and pull large amounts of daylight and warmth into the building. A U-shaped outdoor terrace wraps around the south end and is interrupted by a pool that sits perpendicular to the house and juts out from a partly indoor patio towards the landscape.
In contrast to the sun-filled south side, the northern part of the home has cooler temperatures due to its position inside the slope. To take advantage of the temperature difference, the architects installed a heat exchanger that collects and stores the warm and cool air in a heat pump that can release cool or hot air depending on the homeowner’s needs. The heat exchange system is hooked up to underfloor heating and ceiling cooling and is controlled by an automated computer system. The green roof made of moss and sedum also helps with temperature stabilization, while rooftop solar powers the home with renewable energy.
Images via Paul de Ruiter Architects, © Pieters Kers & Patrick Voigt