The ability to build on an open piece of land, surrounded by forest and open space, is becoming rare and highly appreciated in Belgium’s urban reality. Having sports as a professional occupation and favourite pastime, building a dwelling, working, and hobby space in such an environment was a wonderful opportunity for this client.
At first sight, the house appears to be a two-storey villa containing the usual dwelling spaces. The ground floor level is formed by a longitudinal axis, connecting different living spaces in an open plan. Along this line, access is given to an elevator and two staircases leading to the separated night zones of parents and children on the upper floor. Having a closer look at the plan, one discovers an entire underground level organised and furnished as a private fitness and wellness area. A sunken courtyard allows daylight to enter. From here, a large staircase leads to the garden and swimming pool.
The house is characterised by a dual identity. On the one hand, its formal expression has a flair of modernity expressed by the slim detailed roof edge, large glass windows rimmed by steel frames, and prefabricated concrete façade slabs. On the other hand, the interior of the house refers to tradition without being classical or loosing its contemporary design. Wooden wall panelling and native burnt blue stone floors, combined with two fireplaces, contribute to a homelike atmosphere. A large patio, closed towards the main entrance and street, provides the necessary privacy indispensable in the kitchen and breakfast area, in the mean time allows the morning sun to enter at the breakfast table. This juxtaposition of the traditional and the modern, the welcoming warmth of the interior and distant cold of the exterior, is a reflection of the individual and private needs of the client on one side, a translation of the clients public representation on the other side.
Darco, March/ April 2008