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issue 52 - October/November 2019
CURVE magazine cover October/November 2019
Architecture  Focus  


Bucolic Living in Rural Holland

MVRDV believe that sustainability implies not only a technological challenge, but also a positive change in lifestyle, with urban areas considered as a part of the natural landscape. MVRDV, has designed a small office and residential building on a corner lot next to the Dommel River in the Dutch village of Sint Michielsgestel, using a gridded rack system to cover the building's entire exterior in a variety of plants. Located on the town's southern edge, the four storey Green Villa adopts the urban form of the neighboring buildings, while the plant covering helps it blend into the bucolic landscape made up of the nearby river, fields and trees.

Containing a new office space for a real estate developer, Stein, on the ground floor, five apartments on the three floors above, and underground parking, the Green Villa develops one end of a surface car park on the southern edge of Sint Michielsgestel. The project was initiated and is being developed by MVRDV's co architect, Van Boven Architecten, who wanted to create a landmark project for the village while also being socially conscious and environmentally progressive. The design developed by MVRDV and Van Boven Architecten continues the formation of the street frontage on Adrianusplein, adopting the mansard roof shape of the previously constructed buildings. Within this shape, however, the Green Villa diverges drastically from the other buildings on the street in its materiality; a rack of shelves, of varying depths, hosts an abundance of potted plants, bushes, and trees such as forsythias, jasmine, pine, and birch.

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