paul de ruiter elevates carbon neutral villa kogelhof
paul de ruiter elevates carbon neutral villa kogelhof paul de ruiter elevates carbon neutral villa kogelhof
dec 03, 2013

paul de ruiter elevates carbon neutral villa kogelhof

paul de ruiter elevates carbon neutral villa kogelhof
photo by jeroen musch
all images courtesy of paul de ruiter architects




an exercise in self-sufficiency, ‘villa kogelhof’ is an autonomous carbon-neutral dwelling located in noord-beveland in the netherlands. the paul de ruiter designed building is part of a protected 25 hectare plot, a popular tourist destination and home to a variety of rare animals and plant life. planning permission for the villa was only granted on the condition that the land was returned to its pre-agricultural state, consequently 71,000 trees have been planted across the vast site.



‘villa kogelhof’ has been designed to be entirely self-sufficient
photo by jeroen musch




the brief for the house was to create a simple, yet eye-catching structure which is entirely self reliant, heating its own water and recycling its own waste. the design is formed of two stacked cuboid volumes, one underground and the other a glass box floating above the landscape. the entrance to the property is found at the subterranean level of the scheme, where parking and storage spaces are housed alongside a bathroom and a workspace. above ground, open-plan living accommodation offers views across the landscape, with separate spaces allocated for the kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms.



a pool stretches out perpendicularly from the property
photo by jeroen musch




ensuring a comfortable environment is achieved throughout the year, a ‘climate-façade’, comprises an outer layer of insulated glass with an inner layer of sun-reflecting fabric. the fabric can be lowered forming an air cavity through which the building’s air is recycled through a passive ventilation system. furthermore, a range stove is utilized to warm the home’s water, with all electricity generated from rooftop cells and a specially constructed windmill.



the glazed structure provides expansive views of the surrounding landscape
photo by jeroen musch



interior furnishings consist of pieces by le corbusier and eileen grey
photo by jeroen musch



insulated glass ensures that a comfortable internal climate is achieved all year round
photo by jeroen musch



(left) glazed circulation area
(right) stairs leading to the workspace at the lower level of the dwelling
photos by jeroen musch



entry to the building is found at the underground level
photo by jeroen musch



all electricity used by the ‘villa kogelhof’ is generated by rooftop cells and a specially constructed windmill
photo by jeroen musch



the design is part of a protected 25 hectare plot home to a variety of rare animals and plant life
photo by jeroen musch



project info:


location: noord-beveland, the netherlands
program: extremely energy-efficient, luxury villa
gross floor area: 715 sqm
volume: 2,400 sqm
construction: may 2009 – january 2013


landscape architect: bosch slabbers, middelburg
contractor: j. van der linde, goes
construction adviser: broersma bv
building physics adviser: smits van burgst
costing adviser: studio bouwhaven
installations: intec
glass engineering: si-x, benthuizen

  • Carbon-neutral? I should co-co.
    Carbon-neutral in use perhaps, but not in manufacture.
    You cannot count carbon offset by planting a few,000 trees
    That’s what we call cheating.

    If they didn’t try to claim carbon-neutral, it would still be a very elegant building, and I hope they are trying to recover heat from the pool, pretty big heat-sink.

    mackenzie collins says:
  • cold like an iceberg …

    scandarelli says:
  • a home in the middle of nowhere can never be sustainable and definitely NOT self reliant. the fancy car on some of the pictures tells the real story: a home like this is highly dependent on car transport. or do they also plant their own food in the amazingly adequate climate of the netherlands? or produce their own soap, clothes etc.? how do they get to work? by walking? biking through the fields every morning? such a PR fairy tale.

    ntaj says:
  • A carbon neutral villa with such a polluting car… Greenwashing !

    JMB says:
  • energy neutral house with 6 cars in the basement ? Yeah, right….

    phijel says:
  • There is a home like this in Fontana or San Bernardino, California built in the 50′ or 60s and its quite breathtaking. Im not saying they copied but the concept is old–and still good. I like it very much for its light and reduced obstructions.

    charlesv says:
  • hotel lobby or home?

    ACT says:
  • is it me or do the so called tolerant dutch practice an eminent sense of detachment in many of their architectural designs?

    peen says:
  • Are all those 6 cars (for only 4 persons) hybrid? 🙂

    Nikola says:
  • ice ice baby

    Fatih says:
  • The car is a Fiskar Karma – a plug in hybrid. Not saying it is the most co2 neutral car, but they are trying to show they are thinking about it.
    I do agree that a lot of time will need to pass before the co2 used in building the house will be recovered with its energy efficiency. But it is more of a showcase house, showing what can be done.

    Vid says:
  • Vehicle is a Fisker Karma plug-in luxury hybrid sports car. Hardly a gas guzzler. 2.0L turbocharger ecotech IV gasoline motor + 2 120kW electric motors

    AJM says:
  • I like it. I like that someone is thinking because so few do.
    I think the negative remarks here are people trying to find the high moral ground without considering or asking about the objectives of the project. I’m sure it can be built with a multitude of different sustainable materials to suit peoples preferences (less glass for instance). Leaving personal taste aside it shows what the future of housing can be.
    Large and extravagant it may be, but wealthy people are still going to want what they can afford, so I say provide what they want, sustainably. Otherwise they’ll get it anyway, unsustainably. We have to consider reality when being sustainable, it’s the smart way. Some of my customers don’t care about sustainability but we provide what they really want, consequently they get sustainability anyway.
    It looks like this house is constructed predominantly from glass, steel and concrete. Silica, iron and gravel are among the most plentiful elements on the planet and recyclable over and over forever and eventually recycled by the planet with no harm done. That seems pretty environmentally sensible to me.
    Everything made has embodied energy (carbon). Presumably (I hope) this house produces more energy than it needs and is grid-tied. If that’s the case, it will become carbon neutral at some point in the future. How many houses can claim that?
    I’m a bit appalled at the negative comments. Come on people, think about it, we need more of this .. it may very well lead the way for housing to get closer and closer to that holly grail of 100% sustainability, our common goal.
    I would however, like to see what they can do for the common man (no offence intended)

    MSANZ says:

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