This five bedroom single family house, designed by GRAUX & BAEYENS architects, accepted the challenge of creating a dens program on a rather narrow plot with a less preferable orientation, combining a breath taking view on the Flemish wetlands.
The nicest feature of the location that had to be incorporated, was the view at the back of the plot, facing the river and wetlands. Unfortunately a fully glazed facade looking at the vast landscape would not bring any direct sunlight into the house since it is orientated to the north.
In order to let the light penetrate deeply in to the house, GBA created three monolithic volumes that open up as a flower blossom facing the sun. All rooms are arranged around the central patio giving the house an extra garden room. This semi-enclosed patio is seen by the architects as an extension of its living areas and creates an intimate relationship towards the house while the back garden has an open character with great vistas on the lower riverbanks and the wetlands in the distance.
Viewed from the street, or from the other side of the river along the tow pad, the house gives a more sheltered feeling. The incisions in the brick facade dissolve the monolithic character of the house.
The two-storey high volume of the house creates abundant space for the dens program of its inhabitants. Although one would not expect this, looking at the mysterious closed front of the house, the south facade on the left side opens up, allowing direct sunlight to flood all parts of the house.
The combination of the three monolithic brick volumes with the incisions through which the direct sunlight enters, results in a mysterious house which allows its occupants to discover the surrounding garden and view without giving away any of its the shelter or privacy.