A contemporary and open interpretation of a H-shaped farmhouse in Haspengouw, Belgium
An outdated long-walled farm on a plot on the edge of the center of Kerniel transformed into a contemporary H-shaped dwelling. That is how this single-family home can be best described. Situated in a protected landscape with the typical features of Haspengouw, an area that consists of small villages in a rural landscape with fruit trees. An old farm with a long façade was situated on the 90 acres plot. The farm itself was not protected but was considered as a landmark valuable element by the Agentschap Onroerend Erfgoed (an organization for the protection of architectural heritage in Flanders, Belgium).
A recognizable rebuilding
The typical volume of the farm with the long façade and its annexe is respected in the rebuilding process. The two most imaging volumes are occupied: the original living volume that brings back part of the living function, and the main barn with garage and storage space. This ensures clear recognizability and legibility of the historical development of the building on the plot.
The area in which the entrance, offices and archive space are located is placed in the same position, front line and level as the existing building. The volume copies the typical characteristics of the farm with a long facade. It is a narrow rectangular volume with a limited crown height and a closed saddle roof. The facade has a closed of character with a number of wall openings whose position and sizes are based on the existing facade structure. The choice of the materials enhances the recognizability. The facade is finished with a traditional baked red-gray smeared brick and smothered tiles.
A spatial distinction
The expansion behind these two volumes (the volumes comprise the garage and a volume with sloping roof and the flat roof extension) has a contrasting design. An oblong rectangle is placed parallel to the rebuilt volume. In this volume, the living space and bedroom are situated. This unit is placed 60 cm lower on the left side of the plot. As a consequence, the living spaced are not visible from the street. This placement follows the slope of the plot. The volumes are linked by a single corridor. Seen from above, the house features an Hshape. This ensures clear spatial separation and readability of the new development. Where rebuilt volume has a clear anchorage with the landscape, due to its placement partly sunk in the ground, the new volume (forced by the slope) is elevated from the landscape designed to detract from it, a conscious choice that clearly establishes a distinction in the anchoring of the existing volume with the plot. The alternating open and closed surfaces provide a beautiful view of a Haspengouw valley and extend to the rear of the plot.
Natural stone and steel
The house has lacquered steel profiles with a facade cladding in post-stone. In the interior, a limited number of materials are used. This is a conscious decision to let the different zones create their own atmosphere within one coherent unit. For the office area, the main white interior trench and wall finishes are combined with a light-shaped tile and oak parquet. The tile continues on into the living space, the carpentry was finished with a darkened oak with a linden saw motif. the oak parquet and the white joinery are used in the sleeping area as well. The bathroom gets its own specific interior design by applying a mosaic that was placed in a light to dark gradient on the wall and ceiling.
The dwelling is a project with a strong connection between the in- and outside and a clear reference to the existing building.
Material Used :
1. Brick: Heylen Trading - Hectiek smoked mix
2. Roof tile: Wienerberger/Koramic – tile pan 301 blue smothered
3. windows: Sapa
4. Brick slips: Carrières du Hainaut – Belgium Blue stone
1. Stone floors: Neolith Estatuario
2. Wood floors: Oak rustic Parquet
3. Mosaic bathroom: Bisazza Sfumature Stella Alpina