Paul de Ruiter

Villa Deys

Unassisted living in harmony with the landscape

Villa Deys 1
Villa Deys 2
Villa Deys 4
Villa Deys s1
Villa Deys s2
Villa Deys s3
1 / 6

Paul de Ruiter Architects designed Villa Deys for a retired couple who wanted a practical home in which they could live unassisted until well into old age. They also wanted it to integrate itself into the surrounding landscape.


In harmony with the landscape

The house backs onto the Utrechtse Heuvelrug (Utrecht Hill Ridge), a long and ancient ridge of low hills that runs the length of the region, while its southern facade overlooks the floodplains of the Rhine. This opportune position gives the house’s sedum roof the appearance of a fifth facade when viewed from vantage points on the hills. The green roof and the vegetation-clad eastern and western facades also help to give the impression that the three volumes that make up the house somehow emerged from the landscape. The volumes themselves are offset in relation to one another, which further embeds the composition in the terrace-like structure of the 10-metre high hill that overlooks it.

Three dedicated volumes

The house is composed of three elevated, linear volumes whose projection from and communion with the landscape is accentuated by the above-mentioned vegetation-clad walls and roof. Offsetting the volumes has yielded the largest possible outer wall surface so that daylight admission is maximized, as are the views of the surrounding landscape. At the heart of the ensemble is the swimming pool, around which the adjoining living quarters boast virtually seamless transitions from one functional space to the next.

State-of-the-art, sustainable heating system

The home boasts a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient heating system, which is linked to the pool’s system and to a water pump, thereby allowing heat from the pool to be recycled for heating the rest of the house, creating an energy-saving loop. This, in combination with our choice of materials and construction methods, has resulted in a villa of outstanding sustainable measure.

Project details


Location Rhenen
Total floor area 344 m²
Project description Villa, with swimming pool, tailored to retirees
Start of design 1999
Start of construction January 2001
Project completion May 2002


Client Private
Project architect Paul de Ruiter
Project team Michael Noordam, Sander van Veen, Dieter Blok, Lei Coppus, Hannes Ochmann, Mathilde Joosse, Willeke Smit, Monique Verhoef, Björn Peters
Lighting consultant Van Dijk en Partners
Mechanical and electrical systems Halmos, Milieukundig Onderzoek en OntwerpBuro BOOM (BOOM Environmental Research and Design Agency)
Landscape design Sytze Hager
Landscaper Buro Zijaanzicht
Contractor Aannemingsmaatschappij Boers
Photography Rien van Rijthoven

Share this page