Ultra-Green House Has A Vintage Jag For A Bookshelf

Is this a design crime or an ingenious act of recycling?

The client of the Dutch Mountain house, the futuristic, low-slung retreat you see here, has a passion for sustainability that borders on religious fanaticism. That’s what we assume, anyway. It wasn’t enough to build an ardently green home—one that is sculpted from the lark wood of the immediate surroundings and produces more energy than it consumes. No. He had to go and pull his vintage Jaguar off the road, and mount it on the kitchen wall the way you’d mount a hunting trophy or a cross. As he himself declared, he crucified his car for its environmental sins.

“Since the house was going to be a sustainable example, he could not drive around in a fuel-consuming car anymore,” architect Thomas Dieben of the Amsterdam studio denieuwegeneratie tells Co.Design. “Selling it would do more harm than keeping it. [So] he decided to ask local guys to convert it to a bookcase and liquor cabinet. It was hoisted in during construction, since this would’ve been impossible after closing the roof.”

Did we mention that it’s a vintage Jag!?

We don’t know whether to be impressed or saddened. On one hand, we have to commend the guy for creatively reusing something that really doesn’t have a place in the life of an environmental ascetic. It’s done in a surprisingly tasteful way, too. The rest of the house’s decor is so quirky—a teapot chandelier here, a staircase made of skateboard decks over there—that the car doesn’t look a spot out of place. On the other hand, it pains us to see such a beautiful (and expensive) piece of machinery reduced to kitchen furniture. Furniture that’s used to prop up Jamie Oliver books, no less. Now that feels like a sin.

[Images courtesy of denieuwegeneratie; h/t TrendHome]

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4 Comments

  • ed

    Fortunately the house is concrete, mitigating the known risk of fire in old Jag XJs...

    Terrific project!

  • Brian

    Fantastic project, but the thermal mass (concrete) is actually a thermal bridge unless it is sufficiently insulated on the exterior, including below grade and below slab.  I wonder if they modeled this project?   Perhaps this is what they did.

  • Alejandro Navarro

    Looks great, but I guess the antelope on the wall is another of his environmental sins too?