Transparent living

Innovative solution to limited daylighting provides the centrepiece for unusual Belgian family house

Following a new addition of the family, the owners decided to rebuild their house. The existing house was extended according to building regulations, 17m on the ground floor, 13m on the first floor and a 9m saddle-roof. Responding to the light problem on the ground floor, a central void was created, cutting three floors, so light could enter the house via the huge dormer window. In order not to lose space, the void was filled in with glass floors. This light-shaft organises and connects all different living-functions.

The concept of the central void with glass floors also bears an educational aspect; by means of the glass floors, a spatial transparency is created through which all spaces are connected. Children are brought up with the emphasis on 'living together', one of the main principals in education. At the same time everyone has the disposal of their own space.

The façade on street side is in every inch the opposite of the rear façade. The design of the front is the result of the search for sunscreen, privacy, closeness and a sense of urbanism. Characteristic to the front façade is not only verticalism, but also the contemporary translation of roller-blinds, so often used in the past.

The rear façade, by contrast, is open, clear and white with large windows. The design language applied gives this façade a sculptural character.

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