living on top

sint-martens-latem 2012

The concept of this house was elaborated by taking into account all the advantages and limitations of the site, even at the stage of the first drafts. Orientation and the need for privacy became the determining factors in the search for the most appropriate location for the building.
This search resulted in two beam-shaped volumes of the same width, but of varying length and height. Both volumes are shifted relative to each other so as to divide the garden into different zones. They are oriented to either enjoy the morning sun in the east or bathe in the evening light coming from the west. This also makes for very varied views from the different spaces in the house, and creates a truly rich living experience in the house. The two blocks are connected by means of a glazed corridor which is bordered on both sides by a shallow water feature. The long, expansive pond accentuates the design, and the reflections in the water create an enlarging effect.

The two-storey volume is located in the front section of the house; its height creates the necessary privacy for the lower section. This volume also houses the more private functions such as the bedrooms, a bathroom and a relaxation area. Situated on the ground floor of the high volume are an entrance hall with an open landing, a cloakroom, a storeroom and the garage. The first floor is divided into a sitting area, a dining room and a kitchen (with dumbwaiter). It was indeed the express wish of the customer to locate the living spaces on the first level. This also allows maximum light entry and creates a living experience amidst the treetops and greenery surrounding the home. Hardly a traditional building programme.
The façade was conceived as a closed element while the rear elevation, in contrast, was entirely opened up at the level of the living spaces. On the south orientation, vertical blinds provide the necessary sun protection. The wood grain of the formwork is left clearly visible in the concrete cladding which adds to the robust character of the realisation. As a counterbalance to the concrete, wood has been used for the terraces and floor coverings, creating a natural and warm feel.