This freestanding dwelling is situated in the middle of a parcel between woods and an agriculturalarea near the village of Buggenhout. The enclosure—a modular steel fence—is an integral part of thedesign and defines the volume of the house. The surrounding unkempt garden is not included, andfunctions as an automotive access around the house.
The dwelling itself is composed of two levels:an open “outside house” on the ground floor, and a closed “inside house” on the first story, withviews of the woods and rural landscape. The outside house is conceived as a patio villa with agarden. Its thick double walls—two load-bearing layers of standard brick, painted white—carry aconcrete platform that forms the base for the inside house.
The inside house is a compact set ofrooms in the depth of the roof of the patio villa. This is conceived as a wooden box that covers theplatform, which is made watertight by covering it completely with a dark plastic membrane. Alldetailing on this project is designed from the inside out: the huge sliding windows are added to thefaçade in such a way that the frames are invisible and do not impose on the impressive views.
Theseare directed at the still open, rural landscape, while the neighboring houses remain relatively invisible.By deliberately moving the fence in from the edges of the property line, the dwelling becomesactually “freestanding”—a rare luxury in parcelized Belgium.Building team:• general contractor: CS Bouw, Schoonaarde• contractor wood (structure and walls): Schrijnwerkerij Dam-Baert, Zele• contractor wood (doors and cupboards): Thierry Lagae, Brussels• contractor steel: Mertens, Grimbergen• contractor windows: FMP, Duffel.