l’escaut architects pam + jenny atelier uses a waterline concept
l’escaut architects pam + jenny atelier uses a waterline concept
feb 21, 2016

l’escaut architects pam + jenny atelier uses a waterline concept


l’escaut architects pam + jenny atelier uses a waterline concept

all images courtesy of l’escaut




in 2008 l’escaut completed a residential housing project titled ‘nathalie and laurence’ which was constructed in uccle, belgium. the ’pam and jenny’ private atelier which was recently designed by the firm, neighbours the original house only a few metres away. it is positioned at a waterline height within the garden, surrounded by greenery, making it the ideal environment in which to work.


the atelier is positioned at a waterline height within the garden





nathalie who is a graphic designer, asked l’escaut to create a workshop space in the courtyard to fulfil her dream of ‘working in her own garden’. ideas shifted between a ‘hobbit’ house and an independent construction, until a ‘waterline’ height brought these two elements together. this concept was followed by an almost military precision of measures including underground volume, daylight measures and critical viewpoints facing the garden. in the end this mid level concept was successfully realised by a volume percentage of of two thirds, that was dug under ground.


seen from the house, the workshop is nothing else than a small part of the garden that has been extruded. the plants were chosen precisely in this sense – the variety of herbaceous and grasses resemble closely the wild prairie grass. the roof, whose level is uncommonly lower than eye level, becomes a fifth façade, and yet the real function of the building is subtly betrayed by the presence of a glass opening hidden among the grasses. this zenithal opening gives additional light for the back of the interior space and creates a spectacular view toward the hornbeam hedge.


the materials were chosen in strict cohesion to match the house a few metres away





in correspondence to the similar rectangular residential house, the small workshop becomes almost like a ‘younger sister’. the materials were chosen in strict cohesion, using cladding that was similar in wood type, treatment and spacing to what was used a few years before. it is only the different colour in tones in the cladding, that reveal the different construction dates. in a few years one can imagine that the two volumes were built simultaneously. this continuity can also be noticed in regards to the raw concrete that has been used for the second floor of the house and for the entrance to the studio. a large wooden terrace seals the spaces inhabited by the family, by connecting both constructions physically.


the interior of the atelier also blends harmoniously with the nature that surrounds its walls. wooden floors and walls mirror the calm and tranquil feel of the garden, making it the perfect environment to facilitate the mental transition from domestic space to workspace.


the building facilitates the mental transition from domestic space to workspace


the small workshop becomes almost like a ‘younger sister’ to the residential house


the roof level is uncommonly lower than eye level


a variety of herbaceous and grasses closely resemble the wild prairie grass


the interior of the atelier blends harmoniously with the nature that surrounds its walls


  • Love the concept, love the idea, love the exterior features . Another design proving that containers are extremely versatile for any construction project. Just don’t like the cladded plywood interior. I get what the designer was going for , but it feels unfinished and tacky

    Shikkai says:

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