Clear View: Glass Box Hovers Over Subterranean Home



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A carbon-neutral villa in The Netherlands features a rectangular glass volume hovering above the subterranean portion of the home. Located on a protected reserve, the dual-natured residence offers both the comforting feel of an earth-sheltered home and beautiful views of the landscape through floor-to-ceiling glazed walls.

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The entrance to the luxurious Villa Kogelhof by Paul de Ruiter Architects is underground, with residents driving high-end electric cars into a subterranean garage with its own bathroom and workspace and then taking stairs either to the ground-level reflecting pool or the volume containing the living space. The home looks out onto a 25-hectare (61-acre) plot that’s home to a variety of rare animals and plants; in order to build the home, the owners had to agree to return the plot to its pre-agricultural state by planting 71,000 trees.

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An outer layer of insulated glass combined with an inner layer of sun-reflecting fabric enables the home to adapt to climactic conditions year-round, maintaining a comfortable and stable temperature inside. Rooftop solar cells and a specially constructed windmill generate all of the home’s power. Air is recycled through a passive ventilation system, and a range stove is used to heat the home’s water.

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