Project

Private Home in Landen

This private home in Flanders, currently under construction, is a case in contemporary suburban living and building. The building is situated on its property to take advantage of the garden and rural landscape beyond. The house is made largely of curvilinear glass and site-cast concrete from shipbuilding quality wooden formwork. The texture and horizontal rows of the concrete façade reference the brick work common in Flanders.   Two car ports provide a barrier from the street and public life. A curvilinear glass façade leaves open privileged and extended views to the calm and private back yard garden and rural landscape beyond. The main shared zones (entry hall, kitchen, living room and office space) are positioned on this first level, whereas the bedrooms and secondary shared zones are on the second. The second level spaces are arranged into three identically proportioned solid rectilinear blocks. The eccentricity between the two floor plans creates fluid living spaces and large covered terraces on the ground level, while the upper level is more austere, and demarcates efficient living quarters, bathrooms, and storage closets.   The weight of the upper blocks with relation to the curvilinear glass wall would be unsettling if not for two expressive and large shapely columns that structurally and visually support the weight of the concrete blocks. The columns are seen artistically as organic shapes, sensual forms that mediate between the two levels and the inside/outside relationships between the house and the landscape. The cast in place concrete formwork is treated with exceptional care and detail. Short wooden planks, with offset arrangements are a modern interpretation of two traditional techniques: 1. Shipbuilding, i.e., the outer layer of wooden hulls, 2. Stretched brick courses in the Flemish bond. This dual interpretation was discussed during the design process using Umberto Eco’s concept of “Operta Aperta” or “Open Work”. Eco stated that the essence of a modernist (art) work lies in the fact that it has a level of abstraction allowing for multiple different readings. This pluralism ideally amounts to a more democratic interpretation, providing responsibility in the user or spectator to activate the work.

Location
Landen, Belgium

Client
Private Home in Landen

Year
2012

Type
Under Construction

Area
450m2

Program
residential

Team
Alexander D’Hooghe, Luk Peeters, Wim François, Larisa Ovalles

Collaborators
Private Home in Landen

Civic Center, Beveren

Esuoh Cabin