The house of an architect where every material has its place as one piece of a puzzle

The house of an architect where every material has its place as one piece of a puzzle

Architects: ALT architectuur
Location: Ghent, Belgium
Area: 2.153 ft²/ 200 m²
Photo courtesy: Filip Dujardin

“This is the first house I built for my family and office.

This house has a prefabricated concrete structure. Steel and wood are used for the windows and dark-colored roof tiles create a shell.

The prefabricated concrete structure results in a plan libre. Wooden vertical boards cover the techniques and serve as an extension of the hardwood floors. A slanting rear-end fits to the envelope to fully benefit from the orientation towards the sun.

The home expresses its character through the use of materials. It is an attempt to tell a coherent tale with a minimum of materials. Coherence is obtained by assigning each material its well-determined place.

Every material has its place as one piece of a puzzle: tiles, steel, wood outside, wood inside, concrete, natural stone. This coherence is further present in the tactile hierarchy. One will refrain from touching cold materials. The open carpentry is solid wood, framed in steel. Switches are fixed to wooden skirting boards. Feet will always walk on wooden floors or flashed natural stone. Even though one would be reluctant to touch concrete, here the tactility is of a more visual nature. By polishing it, the result will be a soft, velveteen effect, emphasized all the more in the evenings by artificial light. The outside will have the sharp, edgy scale effect obtained by the superposition of the tiles. The shape of the building as a whole will be jagged, unruly. Only by looking at it from closer-up the entrance is revealed as framed in wood.”

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