Set in the beautiful Thuringia region, in Germany, Villa K is a residence that truly makes the most of its location, embracing every aspect and maximizing all the site’s attributes. The residence offers a total of 248 square meters of living space and was completed in 2014 by Paul de Ruiter Architects, a company established in 1994 which constantly adapts and offers innovative designs and solutions while trying to integrate sustainability as much as possible in their projects.
Villa K is a representative project for the architects. It can be accurately described by terms such as sustainable, innovative, discreet and beautifully integrated in nature. Its design is simple, using only steel, concrete and glass.
Contrary to what the choice of materials suggests, the residence feels very welcoming and comfortable. It was oriented toward the south in order to take maximum advantage of the sunlight. The north section of the building is built into the slope and contains the entrance, the service areas, hunting room, pantry and a six-car garage.
The south section is occupied by the living areas and bedrooms. A glass facade with roof-to-floor windows offers uninterrupted views of the valley and the surrounding landscape and allows them to become a part of the interior design of the living spaces.
The minimal palette of materials gives this project a very simple and highly customizable character. As far as the interior design goes, the chromatic palette is mainly based on neutral tones meant to keep the décor minimal in order to emphasize the stunning views. Elements such as the Eames lounge chair in the living area offer a hint of luxury to the decor, establishing a great balance.
A U-shaped terrace wraps around the social area, emphasizing the close connection to nature and the seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. At the center of the terrace stands a partially-covered patio which acts as a transitional space.
The lap pool is placed perpendicularly to the terrace and featured a platform that the pulled up in order to maintain the continuity of this space. Around the terrace is a garden where the owners planted vegetables and fruit trees. It acts as a buffer zone between the residence and the valley. The pool cantilevers over the garden, adding drama to the views.
The roof of the villa is covered with moss. This allows the building to better blend in, becoming a part of the landscape while, at the same time, contributing to the overall thermal insulation of the house. Solar cells placed above the garage and entrance emphasize the project’s sustainable and eco-friendly character.
In addition to those, the villa also features a heat-exchanger which has the role of regulating the temperature inside the house throughout the year. Because of the fact that the south-oriented section is bathed in sunlight while the north portion is built into the slope, this causes big temperature differences between the spaces.
The heat pump helps stabilize the temperature, maintaining a pleasant ambiance all the time. The whole process is completely automatic and it also controls the underfloor heating implemented for all the rooms. This element, in addition to many others, highlight the beautiful balanced established between the project’s sustainable and luxurious character.