Renovation of a freestanding family house, Geraardsbergen, Belgium

MVC Architecten as Architects

Close to the ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’ a freestanding bungalow was transformed into a compact freestanding family house. An inner courtyard is surrounded by a garden wall, thus creating a north oriented terrace between the house and the busy Guilleminlaan. The four main rooms are organised in 4 quadrants around a technical block, containing bathroom and toilet. This central position is highlighted by it`s shape and materialisation: the shape is conceived as a chimney and is cladded with dark timber, recycled from the demolition of the old interiors. The inside is detailed with a composition of white glazed tiles, shimmering in the light of two north oriented skylights.


The house is self-sufficient in it`s demand for energy, water and heating. A finnoven produces enough warmth for wall heating and sanitary water. Elektricity is induced by south oriented solar panels and rainwater is filtered so serve as drinking and washing water.


Looking from the outside the house manifests itself as a robust building, insulated with a thick layer of hempcrete, refering to the rich strata of the surrounding landscape.This thick hempcrete layer is perforated with wooden blockframed windows. Bedrooms are situated in the north of the house, overlooking the magnolia’s and the courtyard. Dining room, kitchen and office are situated in the south, capturing sunlight and overlooking the ever changing landscape of the Flemish Ardennes.

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