A LANDSCAPE FULL OF SURPRISESThe roads are lined with wildflowers. In summer, purple and yellow loosestrife are in bloom. Timber-framed farmhouses, enclosed meadows, ancient fields, and wonderful oak trees with their thick trunks turn your thoughts to days long gone. This villa is set in a newly developed estate in the unique, tree-lined landscape of the Dutch Achterhoek, where unexpected scenes of rural beauty are always just around the bend. In front of the house and its setting is a wide-open space that stylishly frames the park, most of which is open to walkers. The park, in turn, blends into the landscape around it. The landscape architect for this project carefully restored the property to its original state, with rows of trees throughout the landscape like theatrical sets. To make the soil less fertile, the top layer was removed throughout the property. In the interest of sustainability, this soil was reused to form a raised area beneath the house. The result is a traditional Dutch terp dwelling, a house on top of a hill that contains the cellar.Sustainability also inspired the design of the house. The villa is self-sufficient. At any time, the occupants can go off the net without losing their energy supply. Water is drawn from a private well, and the practical and sustainable built-in features include solar panels, roof and floor heating through thermal energy storage, reuse of rainwater, a septic tank, shielded power cables, and Heat Mirror glass. This unique glass acts as an efficient and environmentally friendly awning, cooling the house and keeping out excess heat.