delmulle delmulle architecten constructs houses inside factory roofs in belgium

delmulle delmulle architecten constructs houses inside factory roofs in belgium

delmulle delmulle architecten has utilized the unused part of a factory warehouse – its roof – to construct four low-energy houses as an effort to provide quality housing for our ever-growing population. situated in oudenaarde, a provincial town in belgium, where, according to planning regulations, only industrial buildings can be built, the project presents an alternative vision for the central, residential area it is located.

delmulle delmulle architecten constructs houses inside factory roofs in belgiumimages by stør, courtesy of delmulle delmulle architecten



delmulle delmulle architecten has treated the factory roof, which is otherwise an unused (water impermeable) surface, as a building lot for housing, aiming to provide a small answer to the ever-increasing, worldwide population issue. suggesting that living and working could be complementary to each other spatially, as for example in the case of a workshop user who could use the space as an office or home, the architects propose to use the industrial building itself in a flexible way. the building can be constructed as a simple rectangular volume, which can then be divided into smaller segments to provide affordable workshops for small arts and crafts companies (tailor, ceramic, glass workshop, furniture maker). ‘a possible interaction and cooperation between these crafts can be the starting point for a better, locally made, sustainable trade model for this small provincial town,’ the belgian architects explain.



the four roof houses have been built as low-energy, affordable, simple yet contemporary timber framed constructions with a spacious outside area, which is actually an extension of the interior space. their timber (FSC labeled) frame is filled with cellulose insulation, while the houses have been topped with synthetic roofing rubber, which makes them extremely air tight, essential for a low energy consumption. high insulation glass and a heat recovery ventilation system makes the  zero footprint structures real sustainable.



‘researching and developing genuine possibilities and creating new perspectives in day to day (built) projects is how we like to see sustainability,’ explains delmulle delmulle. ‘perhaps it is not a utopia: recuperating the gigantic amount of factory roofs as a second level for housing, farming or trading could maybe offer a fresh perspective on how to use our already crammed up landscape.’

delmulle delmulle architecten constructs houses inside factory roofs in belgium


project info:



name: factory roof houses

architect: delmulle delmulle architecten

location: oudenaarde, belgium

total floor area: 1350 m²

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