Energy bills are a thing of the past at Villa S, a plus-energy home in the western Netherlands built to replace a former home from the 1960s. RAU architecten designed the new solar-powered home that embraces the surrounding dune and forest landscape through large windows. The architects’ focus on sustainability also extends to materials, which include FSC-certified timber and “emission-free materials.”
Clad in black timber, Villa S is a boxy building punctuated by windows of various sizes. A beautiful pine forest to the northwest side of the property informed the placement of the windows and sequence of indoor spaces. “The transition to this forest is gradual, a gradual transition from private to public,” wrote the architects. “An important quality in the design is the successive sequences of different spaces, each with a surprising view of the beautiful surroundings. The forest is always present but is always experienced in a different way. In the house it feels like the forest is part of the garden. The differences in height in the garden are solved in new slopes so that the garden smoothly flows into the environment.”
The ground floor is partly sunken and contains a sauna, office, guest room, and a garden room that opens up to the living room above via a staircase. The first floor also includes a dining room, kitchen, and playroom. Bedrooms are located on the second floor. The large windows take in ample natural light that bounces off of reflective light-colored walls and frame views of the pool, garden, and forest.
In addition to solar panels, the home is equipped with a wood pellet stove for energy generation. A concrete slab beneath the ground level floor provides thermal comfort and is complemented by a low-temperature climate system.
Images by Marcel van der Burg