Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

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Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

This glass house by Belgian architects Govaert & Vanhoutte has a 50-metre-long wall at the back and a sunken swimming pool at the front.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Located in one of the forests surrounding Bruges, the house is long and narrow and contains staggered storeys that descend below the ground.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The swimming pool is located at the lowest level and is tucked into a recessed corner of the building.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Doors leading into the house are as high as the walls and are difficult to spot when closed.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Inside, a long ramp slopes up from the main living and dining room towards children's bedrooms that are half a storey above, while cantilevered stairs lead down into a second living room and master bedroom.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Another ramp outside the building provides access to a car park below.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

We've featured a few houses in the past that are almost entirely glazed. See one in Germany here and one in Sweden here.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Photography is by Tim Van de Velde.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

Here's a little more information from Govaert & Vanhoutte:


Villa Roces

Villa Roces is integrated in an oblong terrain of about 70m long and 30m wide, situated in the forest surroundings of Bruges.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The concept consists of a 50 m long and a 4.20 m high wooden wall flanking 6 m wide glass box is disposed.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The house is built along a wall with the intention to meet the lack of light and reflect the presence of the forest, the verticality of the trees, etc.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The 54m long wall functions as a background for the transparant volume in front.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The wall is not only visible at the outside, but also continuously visible at the inside.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

As the transparent volume is conceived as a box, the inside space is filled in with clearly defined boxes and volumes and incorporate the structural elements.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The glass box is indented at three sides:

  • One to give access to the underground parking place
  • One to develop the half underground swimming pool
  • And one to give access, at the backside of the house, to the master bedroom and annex bathroom
Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

The plan concept is very simple:

1. On the level of the garden there is the income, kitchen, dining room and fireplace situated. The kitchen can be separated from dining room with a big sliding door.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

2. The bedroom section of the children and the master bedroom are situated one above the other and put in split-level with the living room which has one and a half height

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

3. In front of the master bedroom we have a secondary sitting room which spatial makes the conversion to the handled levels.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

4. A slope guarantuees the connection between the living room and the bedroom section of the children.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

5. By handling the explained levels and heights we could maintain a continuously horizontal box which was of main importance to be put in contrast to the verticality of the trees.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

6. Under the living room and kitchen is the underground parking situated. To put this underground was also of main importance in order to reduce the build volume above the ground level, this in relation to the disposable space and give the house the visual impression of a big pavilion.

Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

  • http://twitter.com/powertomake @powertomake

    Amazing pool!

  • ALEX

    How has no one commented on how silly a pool next to a glass exterior wall is? I can’t imagine having to have that cleaned EVERY time someone takes a dip. nice concept but highly impractical.

    I love everything else about it though!

    • david

      My thoughts precisely.

      Maybe a giant mechanical squeegee could run up and down the panes once it detects the water has settled.

      • Paul

        who cares about cleaning when the maid does it!

      • borja

        I can't but make the same comment… how about rain then??? do you also clean your windows every after rain, do you, do you????? some people really take pleasure on this pathologic looking for the mistake.

    • https://sites.google.com/site/mattegrayinsf/home Matte Gray

      Goodness, goodness. Just use distilled water in the pool:-)

    • Anne

      and what about rain???? do you also clean after every shower?

  • okpala

    inspires sheer awe! it's a kind of restrained architectural beauty that verges on the sublime… can't express how much I love this house

  • Rdt

    Yes, agree with Alex. The pool seems impractical, and too narrow. Especially shown on the second picture where the child jump into the pool. Really, the width and especially the drop is not really designed for free style jumping but controlled jumping instead. Such amazing house with great detail though.

    • clou

      That's a lap pool. The kid jumping in is fun, but likely not the main purpose of the pool. Looks wide enough for laps.

  • GMA

    Guys,
    Look closer at the eighth picture. The pool is quite wide – just half covered by the landscaping.
    Agreed though, jumping does not appear to be a good idea.

  • josh

    Guys, who cares, such tedious comments about the pool. Why not write "too much glass, birds might fly into it" or "the front door opens to the outside world, leaves will blow in". Its a house, that people live in. Can you people honestly tell me you wouldn't enjoy living here? If this was at the end of Heathrow it would still be cool.

    • Nicola

      I can think of no worse torture than to live there, without a soul, and constantly dominated by architecture.

  • Jeff

    Great design but, gosh, another fragile house… Living here requires more attention, even more qith children!

  • Louk

    Why a lap pool when you actually can have a swimming pool? The kid will have more enjoyment at least. But I would love to live there.

  • Jimbo

    I can't believe those kids are allowed to jump into that lap pool.

  • NZD

    Pool would be completely illegal in New Zealand without a fence/wall around it. Same with the stairs – they would need a hefty balustrade/handrail with no holes bigger than 150mm dia. You guys in Belgium are lucky, especially if you're that rich. A house like that on such private site over here $5-8million+

  • http://www.alexandracampbell.ca Alexandra

    The pool is a cool feature, but I'm just cringing at those kids jumping into it and overshooting and hitting the glass. Ouch!

  • David

    The comments are beyond boring. Sounds like comments from a retirement home full of ex English Health and Safety officials who can only see risks and negativity. A BRILLIANT house. I love it, I want it!

  • hugo

    what a boring house ,so uncomfotable ,so straight, so lacking in imagination,horrid to live in ,where do they relax get scruffy ??

  • Francine

    Nice to look at. but too sterile for me and having once lived in a house with glass walls that birds did kamakaazee into, we were forced to install drapes and to keep the curtains closed because of the birds cutting the corners. My children made messes no room for messes in this rather cold environment. anything organic to soften the space?

  • Keithus

    I can't agree to most of the comments.
    This is one of the best houses I have seen this year.
    Check carefully how the family members enjoy the funtions of different spaces,
    and how special the way the architect links the nature to the interior.
    I am quite sure this house suit their needs and their special taste.

    Regarding the praticality, you need to be a little bit more disciplined to stay in a minimal house.

  • travis

    cool house, but wouldn't that be a burden to heat?

  • JM

    Simply awesome. The pool is a nice idea.

  • Nicolás Ortiz

    The pool is too close to the glass wall! The rest, amazing.

  • Jason Sweers

    My guess is that it feels like you are living in heaven in this house. Light. Air. Space.