Two-storey house in rural Belgium

Two-storey house in rural Belgium

Architect
Pascal Francois Architects
Location
Lokeren, Belgium
Project Year
2012
Category
Private Houses
Stories By
Keller minimal windows

Pascal Francois Architects
Thomas de Bruyne

A modern, two-storey house in rural Belgium

Keller minimal windows as glass manufacturer

A dynamic fusion of old and new, this modern two-storey house in Belgium extends towards and slides beneath a rustic existing barn. The new volume features a minimalist aluminium glass facade system from KELLER interspersed with timber slats on its lower section and ceramic tile cladding on its top part. Beneath the barn’s eaves, where the two volumes meet, the glass facade system houses a light filled modern kitchen that sits in striking contrast against the aged nature of the barn.


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Belgian studio Pascal François Architects has completed a two-storey house in rural Belgium that slots beneath the roof of an old stable block. Pascal François Architects designed the residence to take the place of another house that had been demolished in Lokeren, northern Belgium. It occupies the exact footprint of the old home and its end intersects with the single-storey stable alongside.


A large glazed kitchen is located below the large eaves, where the two buildings meet. There is no direct connection to the existing structure of the stables. In order to obtain the building permit, the architect Pascal François had to follow the requirements of the planning authorities according to which the two buildings were not allowed to have a direct access inside.


"The reason for positioning the extension under the existing roof was in search of morning light into the kitchen," says Pascal François. The result is an exciting symbiosis between old and new.


Another difficulty has risen, because it was not possible to build a volume exceeding 1000 cubic metres and the authorities were counting the barn and the house together, because they are touching.


The rectilinear house sits perpendicular to the barn. Ceramic panels clad the top half of the structure, while the lower section is covered with vertical strips of wood that are interspersed with a number of very large floor-to-ceiling openings. These have been realized with the design fix and sliding door and window system KELLER minimal windows®. The remarkably sober and closed façade hides a very light and spacious interior, which derives its energy from the large-sized, minimalist aluminum glass facade.


The entrance to the house is also covered in similar wooden strips, allowing it to blend in with the walls. Once inside, residents are faced with a large fix window, which looks out to a long water feature that extends outwards from the opposite wall. This space leads through to a monochrome living and dining area with a wooden deck off to one side, while an office is positioned at the opposite end. Three bedrooms and a pair of bathrooms are located upstairs. The old barn is still used for keeping horses.

Two-storey house in rural Belgium

Pascal Francois Architects as Architects

Since a number of years, the Flemish government allowsunzoned buildings to be renovated or even to be rebuilt. The rules, however, are extremely stringent. With this project, we have tried to respond to this reality in a contemporary manner. As the line of what is possible is so very thin, obtaining the building permit alone has taken two and a half years.


The new habitable volume is built on the compulsory “footprint zone” of the old house, but extends towards the barn without actually touching it construction-wise. The purpose was to catch the light in the east. The result is an exciting symbiosis between old and new.


The barn determines the character of the site and of the building. Hidden behind a wooden “ribbon”, a number of openings needed to be added. Further on, the ribbon is draped around the new house and finally becomes a usable terrace.


The upper floor of the house is covered with ceramic panels, the colour and the material referring to the existing barn’s roof.


The remarkably sober and closed façade on the street side hides a very light and spacious interior, which derives its energy from a series of patios.

Project Credits
Products used in this project
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct name
glass manufacturerKeller minimal windows
ManufacturersMetalfire Architectural Fireplaces
Product Spec Sheet
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