House Machelen / Compagnie O Architects

House Machelen / Compagnie O Architects

House Machelen / Compagnie O Architects - More Images+ 12

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© Tim Van De Velde

House Machelen: a dwelling that fits between a floor and a ceiling, separated by a grid of columns.
This house is built on a plot located in an outlying area, behind a first row of typical Flemish landhouses (“fermettes”). An exceptional starting position: there are no direct neighbours – splendid isolation – and the building is barely subject to urban regulations.

So how to design a house that can extract the maximum from its surroundings?

© Tim Van De Velde

‘Plan libre’
This question leads to the scenic, basic vision of a ‘plan libre’: a dwelling that fits between a floor and a ceiling, separated by a grid of concrete columns.

© Tim Van De Velde

All extra architectonic elements (walls, windows, …) are ‘free’, not bearing. The concept allows itself to create a very open plan with flowing spaces, hence fascinating views through the house and its surroundings.

© Tim Van De Velde

This home is a mini (interior) landscape in itself: a little coral reef, a rough concrete structure to inhabit whether by human or (later on) by nature.

© Tim Van De Velde

Interaction with the green surroundings
The design of the facades is a direct result of the functions that lie behind it; they frame the surrounding landscape as pleases the residents. Therefore, there is no real front or back facade – all four are differently, influenced by nearby natural elements. 

© Tim Van De Velde

Structure = finishing
We convinced the client to keep the used materials visible – to honestly show the structure, instead of plastering walls and ceilings and cover everything up.

© Tim Van De Velde

The structure is fully made out of site-poured concrete. Rough plywood panels are used for the formwork. It was definitely not the intention to get the concrete smooth and clean; small defaults, seams in between the different panels and the markings on the wood are an added value.

© Tim Van De Velde
Plan
© Tim Van De Velde

In addition to the concrete, an almost typical Flemish orange brick was used for the facades. Both inside and outside. The walls are reduced to their essence.

© Tim Van De Velde

All the built-in furniture, including the kitchen and wardrobes, are made out of dark concreteplex plates. This material does not require any additional finishing. It’s actually a cheap casing plate – again a search for the essence of materials.

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Cite: "House Machelen / Compagnie O Architects" 15 Jan 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/909279/house-machelen-compagnie-o-architects> ISSN 0719-8884

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