Intended by Graux & Baeyens Architecten to give the building "a poetic impermanence", copper panels with visible seams cover the whole exterior of House VDV and were left untreated to allow the material to oxidise over time.
"We wanted to integrate the house into the woody surroundings as much as possible," architect Basile Graux told Dezeen. "The copper gave us the opportunity to do that, as it will continuously change colour over the years, from gold in the beginning to blue, than brown and green at the end."
The two-storey residence is located in Destelbergen, east of the city centre, beside the remaining brick wall of a castle that was destroyed during the second world war.
The architects generated the house's irregular plan by abstracting a simple rectangle and making cutaways along its length, creating three blocks that angle away from one another.
The roof features a steep gable modelled on the form of traditional farmhouses. "The typical rural pitched roof house is an archetype that has been really common in Belgium and the northern part of Europe for centuries, but strangely enough has never been seen as an modern way of building," explained Graux.
"When urbanism regulation stipulated that the house needed to have a pitched roof we saw that as an opportunity to experiment and a modern interpretation for it," he added.
The two gable ends are both fully glazed, as are the two triangular recesses along the sides of the building, one of which accommodates the main entrance.
Family rooms such as the lounge and dining room are all located on the house's ground floor, and feature a mixture of oak and marble flooring.
A spiral staircase leads up to first-floor bedrooms, where angular ceilings reveal the slope of the roof overhead.
Photography is by Filip Dujardin.
Here's a project description from Graux & Baeyens Architecten:
This single family house is located just outside the town of Ghent. The plot is part of a domain where used to be a castle destroyed in WWII. Parts of the surrounding wall is still standing and is a silent reminder of this history.
House VDV appears simultaneously familiar and strange. The volume, consisting of one level with a pitched roof, alludes to familiar archetypes such as the rural homestead or barn.
But at the same time the volume is broken up by large glass facades, so that the relationship is established with the surrounding trees and the listed castle wall.
The mandatory implantation in the back of the plot ensures that the house is conceived as a pavilion. A garden-house with no front or rear, but with two identical facades and a 360 degree experience of the entire plot.
The (non-treated copper) cladding gives the project a poetic impermanence, which is echoed in the reflection of the surrounding trees in the glass facades.
Architecture & Interior design: Graux & Baeyens Architecten
Location: Destelbergen, Belgium
Design year: 2011
Construction year 2012-2013
Square metres: 410 sqm + 73 sqm basement
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