VDE Residence

Kortrijk, Belgium

2002 — 2004

This townhouse, which is situated on an arterial route into Kortrijk, both stands out from and fits in with the more traditional surrounding houses. Built in their style – at least as far as the cornice, the slightly sunken ground floor, and the construction materials used are concerned – it sits perfectly alongside its neighbours. The construction of the façade guarantees the owners the requisite privacy, with the penthouse on the uppermost floor being set back on the street side. The rear of the house may look similar to the front, but its function is completely different. Unlike at the front of the house, here the steel windows are full-length.

Where most townhouses have a problematic, vertically-repetitive layout and limited floor space per storey, this is avoided through the use of an internal circulation model. The stairwell is not continuous but is in a different location and runs in a different direction on each floor, creating different views and perspectives at every turn. This is also a good solution to the problem of the different floor heights. Corridors are also introduced to inhibit circulation. Built extra wide, they either open up the adjacent rooms, or can be used as separate spaces in their own right. These two approaches combined mean vertical circulation is experienced as a stroll through the house. The use of double-height rooms and avoidance of vertical symmetry in the façade design creates interaction between the different floors. The kitchen / living area and outside terrace – all below street level – look onto the garden, which, being at street level, looks as if it is standing on a platform.

The material palette is kept to a strict minimum with the masonry walls, dark steel window and wide oak flooring



In collaboration with:

Pascal Bilquin & Stephanie Laperre

 

Photography:

Koen Van Damme

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