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Rag Doll House presents a striking duality of old and new

Rag Doll House presents a striking duality of old and new

1 Mar 2021 News

Located in the oldest part of the villa district in Knokke-Heist, Belgium and situated in a former dune area, a new transparent ground floor has been inserted beneath a historic cottage. The striking expression of duality was developed by Delmulle Delmulle Architecten.

 Johnny Umans

In a neighbourhood known for naming individual houses, this house is nicknamed ‘Rag Doll,’ referring to the well-known type of stuffed doll made from different incoherent pieces of material that still results in a coherent ensemble.

Piet Albert Goethals

Surrounded by cottages, farms, historic cottages and contemporary modern homes, the clients at the outset felt divided between a modern home and the potential for something else.

 Johnny Umans

The decision-making process as described by the architects was unexpectedly rational. The clients wanted a new, larger basement but as a registered and protected historic building, any type of demolition on this site was not possible. But by lifting up the house up on micro poles and sliding a modern installation beneath, a solution was found. The top of the house remains a cottage, with all its original charm and details, while the ground level/basement offers the transparency and flexibility of a thoroughly modern home.

 Johnny Umans

The open and glazed nature of the ground floor allows light in from all aspects and forms an intense relationship with the sunny dune landscape and garden that surrounds. A circular terrace made of natural, sand-coloured stone is positioned adjacent to sliding windows that open and connect the indoors to the landscape. Furthering the strong indoor-outdoor connection, a garden design by Denis Dujardin focuses on the addition of authentic local dune plants.  

 Johnny Umans
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