This house along the Leuvense Vaart in Mechelen never ceases to fascinate. A seemingly random play of asymmetrical concrete canopies opens and closes the façade, creating a pleasing impression of introverted openness.
▼住宅外观，exterior view © Filip Dujardin
A house with a consistent story
▼模型，model © Dennis De Smet
The dynamics created by the angled concrete canopies and the sophisticated positioning of the triangular storeys was an aesthetic necessity, designed in response to the environment in which the house was built. In this case, a narrow, deep plot with close proximity to neighbours, but also with an expansive view of the canal and the fields behind it. The concept of the house is the result of a creative process that takes all these parameters into account in a single, consistent story.
▼住宅外观，exterior view photos © Filip Dujardin
▼较为封闭的一侧立面，the more closed facade © Filip Dujardin
▼朝向运河与后方田野的开阔视野 © Filip Dujardin
view to the canal and the fields behind the house
▼剖面轴测，isometric section © GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten
Each storey is set back in relation to the previous one and has been superimposed at a slightly shifted angle, with the intention of creating privacy and a sense of security for the residents. This fan-like movement inward also creates a playful effect that counters the monolithic appearance of the nine-metre-high building. At the same time, the fan shape is intended to cast as little shadow as possible on the neighbours. The breaches in the concrete walls in turn create exciting openings to the garden and the water. While the concrete construction is no less imposing than the ships that slowly pass by on the canal, the openings give the whole a human scale.
▼每个楼层逐次后退并在角度上形成微妙的偏转 © Filip Dujardin
Each storey is set back in relation to the previous one and has been superimposed at a slightly shifted angle
▼河岸视野，view to the canal © Filip Dujardin
▼住宅夜景，night view © Filip Dujardin
The concrete from which the house is built also forms the supporting structure. This made it possible for the opening movement of the facades to be continued in the interior. The lowest concrete wedge serves as a carport and hides the entrance of the house from the view of passers-by. However, anyone who rings the bell will instantly feel welcome thanks to the large, pivoting door and the inviting concrete entrance step.
▼入口区域，entry space © Filip Dujardin
▼底层的混凝土楔形空间作为车棚，将住宅的入口隐藏起来 © Filip Dujardin
The lowest concrete wedge serves as a carport and hides the entrance of the house
▼主入口，entrance © Filip Dujardin
The stairs, together with a cloakroom and laundry room, are located in the concrete core of the house and lead to the living areas that nestle around the central part on the first floor in a single, flowing movement. The kitchen is bathed in the morning sun, while the living room with adjoining terrace catches the last rays of the sun. The bedrooms in the top storey are primarily functional and all open onto a beautiful terrace.
▼入口旋转门，the pivoting door © Filip Dujardin
▼厨房和餐厅，kitchen and dining area © Filip Dujardin
Sheltered and open at the same time
The furniture in the house was custom designed, including the storage units and fireplace wall. The special symbiosis between secure enclosure and openness also comes into its own in the interior. A feeling that is enhanced by a balanced use of understated materials, alternating the warm texture of clay plaster on walls and ceilings with the raw concrete and wooden finishing that are also used in the external facades.
▼客厅，living room © Filip Dujardin
▼混凝土墙面和木质饰面，the raw concrete and wooden finishing © Filip Dujardin
The tranquil material palette of the house has been carried over into the smallest details. For the balustrades, we deliberately did not work with modern glass, but with galvanized steel. This aligns the enclosure and the breaches in the facade with the human scale of the residents, in an otherwise imposing building. The steel of the balustrades is reflected in the external staircase and gate, which were specially designed for this house. A nice detail is that in this gate, just like in the facade of the house, recesses have been applied that make the wheels of the gate visible and give it a surprising touch.
▼从客厅望向楼梯，view to the staircase from the living room © Filip Dujardin
▼露台，terrace © Filip Dujardin
▼可以看到裸露滚轮的大门，the gate visible wheels © Filip Dujardin
▼平面图，floor plans © GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten
▼剖面图，sections © GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten
▼剖面细部，detailed section © GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten
Private House . 2012 – 2019
Location . Mechelen, Belgium
Site Area . 2442 m²
Built Area . 474 m²
Status . Finished
Images . GBA
Photography . Filip Dujardin
Photography model . Dennis De Smet
GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten
Désiré Fiévéstraat 34 . 9000 Gent (Belgium)