With the indispensable aim of integrating green spaces within cityscapes, Netherlands based architectural practise, MVRDV, together with Van Boven Architecten, have designed the Green Villa, a small office and residential building, whose entire exterior façade is covered with potted plants, in a gridded, ‘rack’ system. Rendered in white and green, it is to be built in a corner lot, in the Dutch village of Sint-Michielsgestel, adjacent to the Dommel river. The four storied structure reflects the bucolic landscape of its nearby river, fields and trees. The Green Villa is planned as a landmark project, with its verdant roof gardens and embedded plants in abundance.
Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV explains, “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.”
The Green Villa’s construction is scheduled to start in 2020.
Design of the Green Villa
The ground floor of the Green Villa will house the new office space for Stein (a real estate developer), while the three floors above will comprise of five apartments. Along with underground parking, the southern edge of Sint-Michielsgestel is also designated for surface car park.
This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening. – Winy Maas, MVRDV
The design emulates the mansard roof (a roof with four sloping sides), bespoke of neighboring buildings on the street. Apart from this feature, it exhibits digression in its form, aesthetic and materiality. Holding numerous potted plants, bushes, and trees (such as forsythias, jasmine, pine, and birch), the structure parades a ‘rack’ of shelves, of different depths and sizes, cloaking the entire exterior façade.
The design of the Green Villa is based on a square grid, 4 bays wide and 3 bays deep. A catalogue was developed by MVRDV, of different modules of space (such as living spaces, bedrooms) to fit inside the grid. Working with a similar catalogue, the façade was filled with a library of plants and trees (each with nameplates and added information). The intended outcome is of a three-dimensional arboretum, with selected species of plants placed in accordance to the orientation of the façade, and the needs of the interior – providing privacy, shade or views. An irrigation system is combined with the plants, which will ensure a year-round green façade, making use of stored rainwater.
The Green Villa by MVRDV imbibes their vision of creating socially conscious and environmentally progressive designs, by assimilating nature into the urban fabric of cities. Green Villa’s leafy exterior conceptualises and displays an interesting design feature, offering ‘green therapy’ to the city and its residents.
Project DetailsOfficial name of project: Green Villa
Location: Sint-Michielsgestel, Netherlands
Area: 1400 sqm
Year: Construction will start in 2020
Name of Architect: MVRDV
Co-architect: Van Boven Architecten
Design team: Gijs Rikken, Karolina Szóstkiewicz, Daan Zandbergen
Client: Van Boven Architecten