The client, a couple in business, ended up at CUBYC Architects after visiting friends in another realization of the architectural office nearby. This exclusive house is decorated in a beautiful green environment and is located on an extensive water feature. The views and perspectives in the interior are special and contribute to a stylish whole.
In addition to the main functions of the house, such as a spacious living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom, less everyday functions were also included in the program. For example, the client requested a home cinema room, a billiard room, a wellness area with a hammam and jacuzzi, a fitness room and a home office with a meeting room. The assignment for the architects also consisted of achieving a high degree of finish, with special attention to thorough detailing.
It was a special task for the architects to reconcile the – though complex – program with the surface (715 m2) and especially with the number of users (two). The challenge was to come up with a solution on a human scale, where there would still be visual and / or auditory contact between the residents, if they are together in the big house.
The architect’s answer: successive sequences
If the architects had connected the organization chart in a row, the house would have become gigantic. The “problem” with the scale has been solved by an open and natural sequence of functions / spaces. They are linked together like intermittent shots of 1m, like a sequence of sequences. The vast majority of functions work with perspectives – functional and aesthetically interesting. These perspectives invite the residents or visitors, as it were, to move naturally in the home, from one room to another. The use of voids and huge mobile sliding walls supports the special spaciousness and contact. Because the functions overlap, there are, apart from the necessary doors, little or no separations between the spaces in the house. Nor are there real corridors.
Layout of the program
When entering the double-height entrance hall with a clear height of 6 meters, the view is drawn into the garden through a horizontal window and an extended wall. If you walk between these high walls, which accommodate the guest toilet and cloakroom on the left and give access to the home office on the right behind a 6 meter high sliding wall, the rear facade opens completely through the glass wall in the garden. This transition is accompanied by a change of feeling and
experience. Even the toilet in the entrance hall offers a special experience: it offers a 6-meter high view upwards, where a skylight creates a sacral effect of zenithal light that falls down the walls.
All living functions downstairs are clearly connected by means of a walking line. This walking line does not feel like a corridor, because of the openness to the garden. Seating area, dining area and kitchen are arranged side by side from right to left. The seating area is split in two: one side of the seating area enjoys a view of the garden, while the other side opens onto the patio through a 6 x 6 meter window, with an inner pond and a work of art. Thanks to the loft, the top floor, for example, from the terrace of the master bedroom, can be viewed obliquely down to the kitchen.
The space with the office on the right side of the house has been kept at a much lower ceiling height and is stretched between two long solid walls and two short open glass walls. One of the latter overlooks a patio at the front of the house, which sheds light into the space, the other glass wall gives a garden view. Those who enter the entrance cannot look into the home office unless the mobile wall slides open.
The garages are located at the front left of the ground floor, behind which is the wellness area. This is connected to the swimming pool in the garden behind by the covered terrace with Jacuzzi and fireplace.
On the first floor, the master bedroom, bathroom and dressing room are arranged along an enclosed sunny roof terrace, with a view of the terraces near the kitchen and the jacuzzi. Central to the volume are a playroom, home cinema and lounge, and to the right at the back of a guest room, bathroom and tness.
CUBYC Architects was looking for a stony façade cladding for the solid cellular load-bearing structure. Because of the wooded area, the use of white concrete was written off by the builder, and he did not find what he was looking for among the suggested natural stone types. Ultimately, the choice fell on a ceramic tile, which was used for the facades, floors and swimming pool. Peter Ysenbrandt: “We installed the tiles with a specific pattern of vertical lines, in strips of different widths. The lively appearance that is obtained in this way looks “at random” but is very reasoned. ” In addition, resist the
ceramic tiles to the influences of the forest (patina) and allow them to use a minimum of materials and shades for a soothing effect.
The joinery is made of aluminum, which is painted anthracite-colored. This dark gray color has a slightly softer effect than the often used black. The eaves are also in aluminum, but in the color of the facades. The eaves are placed in the plane of the walls with a shadow angle.
The further choice of materials is coordinated with the ceramic tiles. Stéphan Vanderheyde: “In these tiles we find a number of subtle colors. We played with that. The colors are reflected in the paintwork and in the paintwork of the fixed furniture. The marble of the stairs, in the kitchen and on the washbasin near the toilet is also attuned to this. The same goes for the light gray shade of the Corian tablets in the kitchen, bathrooms and office. This creates serenity in the interior, which thus acquires museum qualities.
Vision on architecture
For CUBYC Architects, a home must primarily offer peace and serenity, while at the same time creating perspectives and stimuli. It is the perspectives that connect the spaces, without losing space to circulation, corridors and walking zones of all kinds. Instead of a succession of “function, door, function, door, …” in its homes and other projects, this agency strives for a smooth, natural movement from one function to another. With the understanding that every room also gets its own individuality. The visitor / resident discovers several layers along the way, because not everything is revealed from the first glance. The peace is one of the fascinating kind.
Furthermore, a plan must be clearly legible. Stéphan Vanderheyde: “If that is not the case, the space will also not be clearly legible for the residents. If a plan does not radiate peace and balance, then in reality it is not. ”
Sustainability and energy efficiency naturally also play a major role for the architects. For example, this house has underfloor heating everywhere via a heat pump that also provides natural cooling. The tall windows are oriented north, while the lower windows are oriented south. Nowhere, except for the back bedroom, was awning needed. And sustainability can be interpreted very broadly. Peter Ysenbrandt: “We were advised to provide an extra bedroom. The residents are two and initially only wanted a master bedroom. But what if they ever move for their job and want to sell this house? This house has a much greater carrying capacity than two residents, but the value would be small with only one bedroom. That is why in the end an extra bedroom is provided and the techniques are provided for a change of function, so that many more residents can move in easily. ” The client is also fully involved in the conscious construction of his home.
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