Villa Waalre is a minimalist house located in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, designed by Russell Jones. The building is orientated such that the main living, kitchen and bedroom spaces are south facing and contain large glazed openings. The structure provides thermal mass with concrete cavity walls reaching 700mm at their thickest and high levels of insulation. These passive measures are used in combination with a ground source heat pump drawing from 16 boreholes in the landscape and a heat recovery central heating boiler which provide heat for the underfloor heating and water. Underfloor cooling is employed between the swimming pool below ground and the main house above to minimize heat gain. Air treatment technology and mechanical ventilation throughout facilitate further regulation of the internal environment.
A significant proportion of the essential energy requirements are provided by a photovoltaic array of 40 Suntech modules. The client can monitor and maintain all systems and their internal comfort levels using tablet and smart phone demand-based control technology. The 25 meter long subterranean swimming pool, external plunge pool with movable floor and reflecting pools are treated with smallest amount of chemicals, so that there is no smell of chlorine, and each pool is constructed with a minimum number of discretely located outlets. The “fresh” water quality is achieved through a combination of turnover and filtration principles, and carefully monitored backwash time and frequency. The temperature of each pool may be individually regulated and the movable floor to the exterior plunge pool allows it to act as either a plunge pool, to become a shallow reflective pool or the floor can act as a pool cover and courtyard surface at the highest level.
Photography by Hélène Binet and Rory Gardiner