This typical Flemish allotment in a pine forest lacks a deterministic context. Except for the vertical rhythm of the pine trees, the surroundings enforce only few constraints. As a result the central theme for the design is found in the design brief itself. The design for the house demands an answer tailored to the needs of this client: no specific rooms are requested but instead an open plan that allows relocating within the house. In doing so a plan emerges with almost arbitrary placed massive volumes – containing couchettes used at night, bathroom, kitchen and storage – and generous light and open transitional spaces that are used during the day. Their use can be adapted to the desires of its inhabitants. Living everywhere.
A central patio forms the heart of the house and brings strong light to the surrounding spaces. Roof volumes mark certain areas in the enclosed volumes by the light they provide but also by the elevated heights they create. The limited budget compels the use of simple constructions, capturing the pure essence of the materials they are composed of. It is a house made as a composition of things. Each of the components is at its own a banal type: a concrete slab, masonry in concrete blocks, a wooden roof, simple greenhouse glazing, drains designed as spouts, prefab concrete wall cladding as countable oversized stones… It is in their composition that they become interesting.
The open plan is structured by oversized wooden beams, which do not only transfer loads but determine the spatial character of the house itself. The visible joints of the concrete masonry add an extra ornament to the rooms. The light wooden roof forms a warm complement to the massive concrete of load bearing walls. A subtle brutality.