A few days ago I had a very interesting meeting with a gentleman called Chris Clarke. I became aware of Chris after he appeared on the first ever episode of ‘Grand Designs Australia’. In fact, this particular episode was very moving because it chronicled his life after a devastating bush fire that obliterated his house (Callignee i). Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Chris built a much more modest one-bedroom version called Callignee ii. During our conversation, we discussed sustainable architecture and design as a model for the future. Certainly, Villa K by Paul de Ruiter Architects conforms to these standards.

When I relocated to South Australia with my family 6 years ago the housing market in the UK was pretty much static. Therefore, it wouldn’t have been viable to sell any of our five properties, which also were tenanted. Three of the residences are Victorian and have an abundance of original features like stained glass windows, cast iron fireplaces and decorative plaster mouldings. Until a few years ago I was obsessed with this type of architecture. However, the tide has changed and now I gravitate more towards the minimalistic approach.

Villa K is Paul de Ruiter Architects first property in Germany (Thüringen) and is discreetly carved into the side of the hill. The residence adheres to simplistic principles and only uses three materials (glass, steel and concrete). This gives the home an almost modular appearance because the entire 248 square metres of living space is situated on one level. It also is equipped with an innovate computerised climate control system, which makes it energy neutral.

Internally the minimalistic theme is continued and the palette is neutral. Features like solid timber floor and a state of the art custom made white kitchen complete the picture. However, the clients have accented their home with artwork to inject a certain amount of vibrant colour. Framing the views are floor to ceiling sliding glazed panel doors. Outside is a raised concrete veranda and intersected infinity edge swimming pool.

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