Text description provided by the architects. The dnA house is located on a left over plot in the centre of Asse, at 400m from the railway station, with a direct connection to Brussels. The house also contains a home office. The cross shaped footprint is oriented towards the sun and following the natural slope on the terrain, which results in a ca 45° rotation towards the street. The ground floor level bypasses the slope in three steps.
For this house we were inspired by the numerous renovations we did of houses with a typical structure made of brick walls and wooden beam floors. These structures are very receptive to transformations in the plan, but they are not so smart when it comes to improving the energy performance (adding insulation, improving airtightness, …). Therfore we wanted to design an “intelligent ruin”, a structure that marks the urbanistic outline of the house, a house where you can always go back to the basic space and form and that can be redesigned from the inside.
The house consists of two structures with a clear hierarchy. The outer structure is a highly durable outline made in brick walls (re-used) with a flat roof; an empty 2 storeys high space. All the structural elements that were needed to make this structure completely autonomous are articulated on the outside of the walls. This results in a graphic composition of the facades that shows the structural logics of the building, as wel as a perfectly flat surface on the inside of the walls in order to avoid complex details when filling in the interior space. The inner structure is a box in the box construction, a light timber frame construction, well insulated and air tight. This structure is removable, adaptable and receptive to transformations in time. The outline of the inner box does not copy that of the outer structure. A patio in one part of the cross creates the visibility of the brick wall from the interior.