Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte | Dezeen
Villa Roces by Govaert & Vanhoutte

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