Office 56 - Weekend house
© Bas Princen

Office 56 - Weekend house

OFFICE Kersten Geers David Van Severen as Architects

This weekend house occupies the complete surface of a deep lot in small town in Flanders. The long backyard of an existing rowhouse is transformed into the weekend house proper; the whole length becomes the house, turning the existing building into a guest house. The new house is organized as a perspectival sequence of four equal rooms, thus providing a sequence of similar spaces whose infill is always different. The sequence of spaces organizes a variety of distinct characteristics—a garden, a pool house, a courtyard, a living room. Central wall openings create an enfilade throughout the different spaces and a sliding glass roof enhances the flexibility of their usage. Each of the rooms gets its specificity through its particular furniture. Together they form a set of interlocking mini-universes. The brick walls are doubled, allowing auxiliary features such as sliding glass doors, double doors, and a fireplace to be placed between the walls. A steel corniche, inspired by the rail of the sliding glass roof clearly frames the perimeter. The core of the house is formed by the middle two rooms: one with a fixed roof, where two wood elements make the space inhabitable; and the other is a tropical greenhouse with a mobile roof, which contains a bathroom unit and a swimming pool. On each side of these two rooms one finds a garden room. Closest to the living room is a simple green landscape, and between the green house and the guest house a paved courtyard. In the summer the mobile roof moves over the court, turning the sequence of the four rooms into a complete house, effectively creating a weekend house cut away from any sense of context and reality: a mirage. Each of the fixed elements in the room is an actor in the composition, carefully designed to live together with the residents and furniture.

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