House DS / GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten

© Philippe Brysse

Architects: GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten
Location: Prinsenkouter 12 – 9070 Destelbergen,
Completion: 2011
Site area: 1,071 sqm
Built area: 312 sqm
Photographs: Julien Lanoo, Philippe Brysse

© Julien Lanoo

The house is situated in a typical residential area. The plots are characterized by large rear gardens and negligible side garden strips.

The property can be described as a typical Belgian ‘fermette’, or farmhouse imitation from the Seventies.

© Julien Lanoo

The client acquired the property 10 years ago. The brief was to transform the house to ensure spacious, bright and contemporary living.

Unlike the total make-over the client had in mind, the architects chose to conserve the archetype of the farmlike house and add an extension that strived for a dissonance, a confrontation, aimed at sharpening both entities and achieve a symbiosis between old and new.

© Julien Lanoo

Four volumes are placed against the existing volume as large canvases, to capture light and form a new rear. A fifth, separate volume contains the pool house.

These two interventions, the extension and the pool house, thus define the large garden area, connected by the terraces and the pool.

© Julien Lanoo

The other parts of the shell remain untouched and preserve the sight of a individually readable volume.

Inside, however, a fusion of old and new is created:

The new space formed by the canvases connects through a continuous wall cupboard to the existing L-shaped living room and opens as a trampled fan into the light.

isometric plan 01

A long cupboard is placed diagonally and separates the living room from the utility parts (entrance, storage room, bathroom, playroom) and integrates functions like fireplace, library, kitchen, … Using highly specific constructive interventions the existing house was opened upand was linked to the new rear. This results in an open living space where the garden with its evolving seasons plays a central role.

isometric plan 02

The wardrobe has a double purpose. Firstly, the living space thus separated from the practical parts (entrance, storage room, bathroom, playroom) and secondly, many different features are integrated (fireplace, library, kitchen, …)

The covered terrace is integrated into the new rear.


The new rear is conceived as a timber frame. This dry wall structure is a quick way of working and has led to a reduced construction period.

Cite: "House DS / GRAUX & BAEYENS architecten" 02 Jan 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 May 2015. <>
  • drejer

    Who cares for context, steel black box is so sophisticed… Darth Vader would be quite happy here, or was it designed by him in case he misses Dark Star?

    • godryk

      I would recommend to take a look at the site plan: the extension of the house is directed towards the garden so the house revolves around it. I thinks it’s a great project.

  • Sergio

    I think too it is a great intervention. Nice spaces not only outside but in the living room (notice the soft zoning between living and kitchen).

  • Roberto

    So clean… I love it.

  • RonH

    Per Ronen Beckerman’s observation the photographer for this building made the photos look like renderings versus the typical Architectural photos. It’s so interesting that for years the Architectural visualization community has been trying to emulate the photographed world and now we have the reverse. Apparently the two art forms have finally crossed and the line between real and unreal grows ever thinner and with admiration from both sides. Excellent building….wonderful photography.

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