Text description provided by the architects. The Skatchkoff Residence is a detached passive-solar house at the edge of the centre of Kortrijk. The design brings two nostalgic elements into crystal clear form: the saw-tooth structure of the local textile industry and the wooden structure of the dacha of the client’s homeland, Russia.
The home is largely organised on the ground floor, in order to enable maximum accessibility for the plucky though somewhat elderly resident. The design is ‘reverse lifecycle resistant’ ideal for a person living alone, with space for a live-in carer when required and with the possibility of being extended at the front for a family with children. In addition, the orientation has been adapted to allow space for an additional twin residence on the west side of the property.
The essence of the design is the sculptural saw-tooth roof – ideal for capturing passive solar heat from the south- and the central core which structures the plan and houses all ventilation equipment. All remaining rooms are integrated within a free and flexible plan around this core. The fluctuating height of the roof is reflected in the alternating experience of the rooms below and provides space at the highest point for a hidden attic.
The construction and siding are made entirely from wood and are prefabricated using CNC technology. As a result, the entire structure could be constructed both wind and rain proof within just a few weeks, while construction details were integrated referring back to centuries-old knowledge. All interior carpentry was specifically designed for this home and constructed from a modest yet warm material pallet. The refined, detailed and tactile interior thereby enters into dialogue with the pragmatic and rather basic feel of the exterior.