Potted plant façade for MVRDV’s “Green Villa” in Dutch village

Dutch architects MVRDV and Van Boven Architecten have designed "Green Villa", an office and residential building on a corner lot close to the Dommel river in the southern Dutch village of Sint-Michielsgestel.

Van Boven Architecten will also develop the four-storey project and real estate developer Stein will occupy the building’s ground floor office space. Apartments will fill the other three floors.

A gridded "rack" system will act as the building’s façade and will display a variety of potted plants, bushes, and trees such as forsythias, jasmine, pine and birch.

MVRDV says the façade will act as a three-dimensional arboretum, a plant and tree library, and have nameplates with information.

The plants were chosen to offer privacy, shade, or views for those living or working in the building.

An irrigation system using harvested rainwater is integrated into the planters to ensure watering throughout the year.

Winy Maas, MVRDV founder-partner, said: "This design is a continuation of our research into ‘facade-less’ buildings and radical greening.

"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."  

Construction on the project is due to start in 2020.

Image courtesy of MVRDV

Story for GCR? Get in touch via email: [email protected]


  1. The ‘green dip’ is an interesting expression for capturing a more radical approach. Why is it in this country we continue to build vast roof scapes (eg the distribution centres around Milton Keynes) with no evident PV collection, whilst at the same time hundred of acres of farm land are covered ground level solar panels? Surely this isn’t evidence of an integrated approach to food, energy or carbon dioxide loading. Is there a case for development grants and/or tax breaks for the extra CAPEX necessary to make such opportunities possible?

Comments are closed.

Latest articles in News