The clients bought the house of a deceased family member because of the beautiful view and to turn it into an adapted home later. Our office came into contact with the clients through a carpenter friend.

The bungalow from ’68 had many shortcomings, a major renovation was necessary. During the concept phase, we brought the builders into contact with Neutra’s architecture, to indicate the spirit of the times. We had the wild ambition to make the renovation more successful than the original. The builders immediately saw the link and decided to bring their plans forward.

During the design phase, warm natural materials were taken into account that connected the interior and the exterior and vice versa. Light and sight lines provided the desired clarity and transparency and ensure that the house is in constant contact with its surroundings. In the concept we wanted to maximize the strong terrain properties. The living areas look out over the vast Pajottenland. Spaces & materials run seamlessly from the inside to the outside, sliding doors disappear into walls,… nods to Californian Modernism. Materials were selected on their natural basis, the brick was glued in a random bond and can be found in the garden wall but also in the interior. Afromosia can be found as facade cladding, but also as a subtle parapet on top of the sun terrace in contrast with the white decorative plaster and the white aluminum roof edge.

Our work was not limited to architecture, we also designed the interior furniture and the garden. Because we saw it as a total concept, a continuous whole from the inside to the outside. The dimensions of the cabinets in the living room follow the complete natural number sequence of the Fibonacci curve. If no lighting manufacturer could offer us devices that could be placed both indoors and outdoors in the same continuous light cove, we then designed the lighting together with a specialized contractor. Everything was personalized for this home.

The environment in itself was an important asset of the house. We therefore opted for high windows so that nature draws in. From every point inside the house you have a view of the vast Pajottenland. Moreover, we chose to let all materials flow from the inside to the outside. This stimulates the indoor-outdoor feeling even more. The ground floor, which already existed, was built according to traditional construction techniques. In addition, we worked with a timber frame. We did not want to overload the load-bearing structure. To finish the whole thing, we opted for warm materials. The facade was finished with afromosia and the brick was glued in a random bond.

With regard to techniques, the house is completely up to date. The house is equipped with a ventilation system D, a heat pump, underfloor heating, external blinds, central vacuum cleaning system … Moreover, everything is controlled by home automation to guarantee the ultimate comfort.

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Apartment J
François Hannes

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