The property is situated at the back on the plot and originally consisted of a typical old farmhouse and an extension dating from the 90s, with a distinct architecture: a fully glazed facade, with a curved shape in plan, with a roof which consists of several parallel smaller roofs. The clash of these two building typologies is a strange thing. This house had become too small for the residents, so there was a need for an extra bedroom, bathroom and if feasible also an enclosed entrance hall.
The old farm house was rescheduled, and in order to not interfere with the daily routine of the residents there’s been chosen to erect the new expansion besides the existing buildings. The connection with the expansion was made via the new multipurpose room on the first floor of the old farmhouse.
The architecture of the new extension reinforces the ambiguous character of the existing buildings, because instead of searching a solution that matches as closely as possible the existing buildings, there’s been chosen to give the new building volume a strong and personal character. The new building volume seems to have landed or washed up on the site, as a sort of retro-futuristic capsule which one can not determine the origin. This capsule does not refer to an era in architecture, but is reminiscent of the exploits of Jules Verne or the world who cartoonists Peeters and Schuiten recall so perfectly: a cocktail of science fiction and nostalgia.
The exterior was coated with copper, and the quirky atmosphere of the exterior has been translated in the bathroom, which is designed as a kind of cockpit in white polyester. The bedroom and the terrace are situated next to the bathroom, like a suite in a (space) ship.
A new entrance is situated under the belly of the new volume, because originally one entered directly into the living space. This glazed volume is a continuation of the 90s renovation, both in design and in terms of materials: The green glazed 90s facade is simply extended, causing a small patio next to the entrance, bathroom and livingroom. Next to the entrance there also naturally develops a covered terrace.
At first sight the result seems a little bit odd, but at the same time it is also very obvious. It’s quite difficult to place it into a particular style or category, which ensures this house will withstand the test of time.
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Type: Residential – Houses
Architects: Atelier Vens Vanbelle
Photos: Tim Van de Velde