House SSK confronts the old urban fabric with the desire for a larger whole. The house disengages from its context but is at the same time imprisoned within it.
▼建筑临街立面，the building faces the street
▼玻璃住宅前的天井绿意盎然，the patio in front of the glass house
One salient issue which keeps emerging when designing contemporary urban dwellings is the dilemma of new-build versus renovation, in addition to other considerations such as affordability, sustainability and comfort. The plot, located in an old working-class area in the centre of Kortrijk, prompted a deep reflection on the intrinsic value of this urban fabric. Did it call for renovation, or intensification, or would tabula rasa be a better strategy? The house combines all these options. It detaches itself from the existing frontage, allowing for the creation of a volume that fulfills contemporary requirements: abundant natural daylight, open space, acoustics insulation, privacy and flexible arrangements. The facade was reconstructed as a gesture to integrate the contemporary volume into its context, while preserving privacy.
▼从临街立面看向玻璃住宅主体，the main body of the glazed house is viewed from the street-facing facade
▼住宅边界处原有的砖墙得到了保留，它们与透明玻璃房屋形成了低调的对比，on the plot boundary, the existing brick walls in its original form were retained to give an unpretentious contrast to the glass box
Inside the plot this gave rise to an unrestrained freedom. The building, a “cocooned glass box”, could now be optimized and oriented to generate the most efficient Existenzminimum possible. Given the spatial and budgetary constraints, the goal is to maximise the freedom of enjoyment from within. The house was effectively turned inside-out, with beauty being created from the inside. On the plot boundary, the existing brick walls in its original form were retained to give an unpretentious contrast to the glass box. Due to degradation the front elevation was rebuilt from basic clay blocks in a deliberate attempt to harmonize with the neighborhood and to keep the cost down.
▼建筑后部庭院，the rear courtyard
▼周边墙体细部，details of the old wall
Glass was chosen as the main building material to invite openness. The living space forms a spatial entity with the street. Here the city becomes part of the house, or vice versa. The scale of living changes in response to the city dynamics and so asthe relation between the interior and the exterior. In House SSK, boundary is non-existent. The residual spaces were turned into leafy front and back patios. At the front this greenery blends with the street, whereas elsewhere largely blank facades render the street inert.
▼从住宅内部看向立面，the facade is viewed from the inside of the house
▼新立面与玻璃主体之间既融合又独立，the new facade is both integrated and independent from the glass main body
▼中央楼梯系统，the central stair
▼容纳了卫生间和储藏室的木制体块，the wooden block housing the bathroom and storage room
▼卫生间与卧室，the bathroom and bedroom
The home itself, within the glass box, is arranged across three levels with a central stair, surrounded by a volume where the majority of the building’s services are located. At ground level, this central volume houses a bathroom and storage, separating a reception room at the front from a bedroom at the rear. On the first story the whole floor plate is opened up into a living and dining space, and on the top floor an extra bedroom occupies half of the site’s footprint, overlooking the roof of the floor below. The front edges of the glass box have been angled slightly in order to take advantage of sunlight entering through the outer facade. At the rear a small patio space sits between the glass wall of the house and the boundary wall of the site.
▼位于二楼的生活和餐饮综合空间， the whole floor plate is opened up into a living and dining space
▼整体打通的二层空间拥有良好采光，the overall opening of the second floor space has good lighting
The house seeks to rethink present-day life in the central European city and in so doing to help create an urban environment that is a world away from the sterile and superseded suburbs. It strives to bring the greatest freedom of enjoyment to its inhabitants by circumventing the spatial and budgetary constraints which are common concerns in nowadays urban development. On the one hand, the house combines spatial quality with affordability, and on the other hand it forges a new relationship between the individual and their changing context.
▼街景视角下的住宅外部，the exterior of the house with street view
▼夜幕下的建筑立面，the facade of the building under night
▼开了灯的玻璃住宅主体，the glazed main body of the house with the lights on