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Rural Estate Kogelhof Kamperland

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Location: The Netherlands / Type: Estate / Water features / Built: 2012 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on June 6, 2023

71.312 trees and a landing strip for swans

Rural estate Kogelhof


A modern rural estate in a Zeeland polder

The object that most stands out in the emptiness is a traffic sign, warning of crossing wildlife. Next to it is a recently planted tree meadow. Easy to miss, but this is the entrance to a new, ultramodern rural estate.

In the middle of this Zeeland polder, 25 hectares of potato land transformed into a bold landscape of waving white poplars and shooting shrubs. The shape of this modern rural estate is determined by its massive woodland blocks, tree meadows and large pond. Routing leads the visitor along elegantly flowing pathways to an idiosyncratic eco-villa and the formidable pond. The grounds are a protected area, part of Natuur Netwerk Nederland, the Dutch Nature Network.

Horizontal eyecatcher

The giant, Z-shaped pond is a horizontal eyecatcher. Passing clouds are mirrored in its waters. Its longest side is 380 metres long, with a width of 30 metres. It is the size of almost ten Olympic swimming pools; a luxury landing strip for swans. The water has –because of its position along the Eastern Atlantic migratory route – a logical attraction for passing birdlife. At the short end of the pond is the location of the house: Villa Kogelhof. The garden around it is planted with many types of plants and grasses.

Smart moves

The reconstruction of the estate was done with a closed mass diagram: not a single shovel of earth left the grounds. A sensible approach: to create the enormous pond, some 70.000 cubic metres of soil had to be removed, adding up to roughly 122 million kilos. All the better, then, that this huge volume did not have to travel far. It has been used to shape two hills on the grounds. These elevated earthworks make for a range of different soil conditions, to enhance the estate’s biodiversity.

Green choices

Kogelhof estate is part of a larger program initiated by the government and aimed at connecting main regional ecological structures throughout the country. In 2006, the current owner purchased the Kogelhof estate which was zoned agricultural land. The land provided a protected habitat for many animal and plant species and was an important tourist attraction in the area. Permission to build a house on the land was given on condition that something was also given back to nature. The 71 thousand newly planted trees reduce CO2 and combat heat stress. The rectangular water feature also provides a buffer in times of high precipitation and serves as water storage in warmer times. Not just a nice-looking estate, but by incorporating these climate-adaptive measures, it also focuses on (future) climate changes.

A net zero villa

Crossing the bridge, glimpses of the modern residence are already visible. It was designed in close relationship with its surroundings. A ramp leads to its underground entrance. On the roof, 280 m2 of solar panels are installed: more than enough energy for the house and its inhabitants. On the top floor, large glass walls provide endless views on the garden, the polder landscape and the famous Oosterschelde Storm Barrier on the horizon.

Architects’ assessments

BoschSlabbers developed the main designs of the estate, and took care of the planning permits in cooperation with De Bakker Makelaardij. The engineering, the earthmoving permits, the technical specifications, the tendering and the supervision of construction were also done by BoschSlabbers.

Project Data

Landscape Architecture: BoschSlabbers
Design year: 2006 -2011
Year Built: 2012
Photographer: BoschSlabbers, Peter Buteijn, Jeroen Musch, MJ webdesign

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