Originally built at the end of the 20th century, a stunning villa sits within the tranquil Dutch village of Driebergen. Purchased not too long ago by a pair of preservation enthusiasts, the home was recently brought back to its orignal glory, furthermore becoming Holland's first energy-neutral monumental home. OPAi (One Planet Architecture Institute) developed the energy concept for the house, and then asked Zecc Architects to integrate their energy-neutral concept with a complete restoration and expansion of the classic home.
While the house appears to be pretty conventional from the outside, we can sense a mysterious that radiates from within. Surrounded by high trees, the has a solid front door facing the street and actually looks bigger than it actually is.
The house has been extended at the back with a a glass box topped with a concrete roof containing all new installations. One Planet Architecture Institute developed the house’s energy-neutral system, making sure that all the work done to the existing building is reversible and can be undone without leaving a trace. To insulate the villa, natural materials have been used where possible. The internal walls have been insulated with wood fiber and finished with a layer of mud plaster. The original wooden roof was insulated with flax — a natural ‘breathable’ material commonly used with half-timbered houses in the southern Netherlands and Germany.
Photovoltaic solar panels were discretely fixed to the roof to preserving the traditional village aesthetic. The solar panels give plenty of energy to the heat pumps, which are located within the garden’s grounds and able to heat the home. Also located at the rood, solar energy collectors heat the boiler’s water for the bathroom and kitchen. On sunny days the excess energy is either saved or returned to the public grid.
Many of the original elements, such as windows, have been left intact and the original brickwork that covers the house’s facade is also visible from the inside. The main house was for the most part left intact, while the new glass extension at the back contains a kitchen, living room and dinning room. The glass box extension was built using stucco made from crushed bricks reclaimed from the demolished part of the house.
After the completion of the home, Zecc Architects earned the BNA Building Of The Year 2011 for their project.
Photo © Zecc Architects