Text description provided by the architects. The building is situated in the backyard of an existing house in the center of Gent. The hidden place is a very interesting and exciting area because it is surrounded by university buildings, old towers, a Cathedral and even the famous ‘Boekentoren’ of Henry Vandevelde. It is a real secret garden !
The owners wanted to build a house with a lot of glass to have a open view on the garden but they also wanted a warm feeling : a cosy family house. the result is the ‘cosy glass house’. The architect created a structure with a grid of wooden columns and large glass surfaces. The composition of the vertical and horizontal slabs gives the building a timeless and calm character .
The concrete terrace structure (as an extension of the interior) communicates with the different levels in the old garden and makes the building perfectly integrated in the environment. At night, when all the lights are up, the building is changing into a movie set and could be located in California or los Angeles. The building becomes a light object.
By using different levels and heights, the spaces on the first floor have different characters. The kitchen is conceived as a large multifunctional space. The living room and dining corner, with integrated benches, are situated around the central fire place. The intimate media room is located in a former bunker volume.
The tasteful combination of materials like oak, wooden floors, carpet, tadelakt, cemented recuperated bricks,… gives the interior a warm feeling. The glazed bedrooms and bathrooms are situated on the second floor and are connected with a central closet-room. From these rooms (with the same character as the ground floor) the views on the garden, roof-gardens and environment are even more intense.
The basic construction : because the location of the new volume is surrounded by closed building volumes we could not use a traditional way of building. Lifting all the materials like steel, wood, glass over the high, existing building and putting everything together like a mecanoo on site was the only solution .
All the details like the basic structure, windows, furniture, door handles, sofas,… are carefully designed by Steven Vandenborre architects and gives the project a unique character.