recycled bricks shape this curved house in belgium designed by BLAF architects

recycled bricks shape this curved house in belgium designed by BLAF architects

as part of research into brick design and construction, BLAF architects realized an experimental dwelling in gentbrugge, belgium. marking one of the early projects in a series of brick buildings, ‘gjG house’ explores the re-use of bricks and the functionality of a curved shell. 

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

images © stijn bollaert

 

 

BLAF architects’ research is called ‘brick wall city’ and it addresses the relationship between material, construction and the appearance of brick architecture. the project stems from the implementation of energy performance standards in belgium since 2006. BLAF noted that these requirements, called EPBD, meant that as thermal insulation got thicker, cladding materials got lighter and lower in cost. as for brick buildings, BLAF noticed a growing trend of brick tiles glued onto buildings as ‘exterior wallpaper’, meaning that the materials would be difficult to separate at the end of the building’s life cycle, and resulting in huge amounts of non-re-usable waste. 

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

 

 

although gjG house appears to be situated in a forest-like environment, it’s actually positioned next to the E17 highway on a site that used to be part of the garden of a late 19th-century mansion. the curved shape of the brick shell was designed by BLAF for several reasons. firstly, rather than cutting down existing trees on the land, the house was instead shaped around them. 

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

 

 

secondly, the curved shape allows the building to be structurally autonomous. the stability of the outer brick wall is not dependent on cross walls, columns or beams, but merely on its form and the brick bonding. finally, the massive shell of the house contributes to the acoustic comfort on the inside.

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

 

 

the shell is made out of re-used bricks, creating a generic yet timeless aesthetic. the shell supports the roof and together they form a ‘bell’, with a receptible interior space. the infill of the bell is the house, made with steel and timber frame constructions, making three storys in one part of the house and one open space in the other. the inside of the shell is finished with the same re-used bricks, giving inhabitants the feeling of living outside among the trees.

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

blaf-architects-gjg-house-belgium-designboom-1800-1

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

BLAF architects uses reused bricks to build curved 'gjG house' in belgium designboom

 

 

 

project info:

 

project name: gjG house

program: single family house

location: gentbrugge, belgium

architect: BLAF architects

stability: tecclem

epb: barbara oelbrandt

structural work: G-build

carpentry: vlieghe

floor area: 2045 ft2 (190 m2)

materials: re-used bricks, metal, wood

year: 2015

 

photography: stijn bollaert

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ARCHITECTURE IN BELGIUM(74)

BRICK ARCHITECTURE(122)

RECYCLING(141)

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIORS(1586)

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