MVRDV has designed green villa, a four-story office and residential building whose entire exterior is covered in a variety of pots and plants standing on a gridded ‘rack’ system. located on a corner lot next to the dommel river in the dutch village of sint-michielsgestel, the building adopts the urban form of neighboring structures, while its plant-covered façade helps it blend into the bucolic landscape of the nearby river, fields and trees.all images © MVRDV

MVRDV has designed the green villa together with co-architect van boven architecten, who is also the project’s developer and initiator. construction is scheduled to start in 2020, with plans to create a landmark building while also being socially conscious and environmentally progressive.

‘this design is a continuation of our research into “façade-less” buildings and radical greening’, explains winy maas, founding partner of MVRDV. ‘the idea from the nineties of city parks as an oasis in the city is too limited. we need a radical “green dip”: as will be shown soon in a book by the why factory with the same title, we should also cover roofs and high-rise facades with greenery. plants and trees can help us to offset CO2 emissions, cool our cities, and promote biodiversity.’MVRDV green villa

containing a new office space for a real estate developer, stein, on the ground floor, five apartments on three floors above, and underground parking, green villa develops one end of a surface car park on the southern edge of sint-michielsgestel. MVRDV and van boven architecten’s design continues the formation of the street frontage on adrianusplein, adopting the mansard roof shape of the existing buildings. within this shape, however, the project diverges drastically from other buildings on the street through its unique exterior, composed of a ‘rack’ of shelves, of varying depths, which hosts an abundance of potted plants, bushes, and trees such as forsythias, jasmine, pine, and birch.

the structure of the green villa is based on a square grid four bays wide and three bays deep, within which a catalogue of varying space modules, such as bedrooms and living spaces can be placed. a similar catalogue is used to populate the façade, resulting in a three-dimensional arboretum, a plant and tree library, complete with nameplates and additional information. the plant species are selected and placed with consideration of the façade orientation and the living functions behind, providing either privacy, shade, or views as required. a sensor-controlled irrigation system that uses stored rainwater has been incorporated into the planters, guaranteeing a year-round green façade.

project info:

name: green villa

architect: MVRDV

location: sint-michielsgestel, the netherlands

client: van boven architecten

size and program: 350m2 office, 1050m2 housing, 1400 m2

founding partner in charge: winy maas

partner/director: gideon maasland

design team: gijs rikken, karolina szóstkiewicz, daan zandbergen

visualizations: antonio luca coco, pavlos ventouris

co-architect: van boven architecten

sofia lekka angelopoulou I designboom

aug 14, 2019

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