in and out of three houses by office geers van severen
image © bas princen
images courtesy of office kersten geers david van severen

 

 

 

brussels-based office kersten geers david van severen has designed three private homes in belgium that are characterized by integration of outdoor space as part of the dwelling unit. the interventions also frame the space in ways that employ the site for optimal use and livability.

 

the firm transforms a flanders rowhouse and its back yard into a ‘weekend house’, leaving the existing construction as a guest suite. the long narrow site lends itself to becoming a series of rooms, as an enfilade of grand historic  architecture. the space is divided into four equally sized parts, which alternate in their enclosure or open-ness. the architectural elements help distinguish each with unique decor and function. a sliding glass roof and doors make the spaces adaptable for in and outdoor living.

 

in and out of three houses by office geers van severen
weekend house
image © bas princen

 

 

 

‘summer house’ expands a 19th century townhome in ghent to embrace the outdoors. the intervention creates two distinct entities. the interstitial space is enclosed with a metal grate roof and sliding glass panels, such that it can be enjoyed for most of the year. the doors reflect the remaining space of summer house, visually isolating it from the rest of the structure. open to the sky, and filled with growing vines, the passage of time is integral with the decor, informing the resident of when it’s time to relocate.

 

 

in and out of three houses by office geers van severen
summer house
image © bas princen

 

 

in and out of three houses by office geers van severen
view of the layered spaces of summer house and the interstitial space from within the winter house
image © bas princen

 

 

 ‘villa’ is located in the rural setting of buggenhout between a farm and wooded area. set back from the property lines, the perimeter fence leaves space for an automotive circle and allows the house to stand on its own. integral to the design this enclosure provides visual privacy for the ground floor. designed as an inhabitable patio and garden, there are no other exterior walls at this level. in contrast, the upper storey, conceived of as the indoor house, is fully enclosed by a concrete platform and plywood box wrapped in a waterproof plastic membrane. windows punctuate the facade and open to views of the verdant landscape. in an effort to not distract the residents from the beauty beyond, and to maximize their viewing capacity, the window frames are inset within the facade.

 

 

 

 in and out of three houses by office geers van severen
villa rises above the field, camouflaging the first floor with a fence that stands covered in climbing vines
image © bas princen

 

 

in and out of three houses by office geers van severen
inside the villa exposed plywood walls compose a solid box that sits on a polished concrete platform, giving the dwelling a rustic feel
image © bas princen

 

 

in and out of three houses by office geers van severen