- Engineering:Pascal De Munck
Text description provided by the architects. Patijn is the renovation of a small yet stately house from the 1930s. Slightly set back from the street, the original house of three floors was built in red brickwork, with a mansard roof embracing the upper two. On the left side, the front lawn runs around the back, while on the right, the building connects with the other row houses in the quiet street.
The renovation entailed stripping the original house to its structural brick walls, which remain visible throughout the interiors, while its exterior façades were wrapped in white-plastered insulation. At the back, an extension was realised in two additional volumes, stepping down along the slope of the plot towards the garden.
A few details refine the exterior walls of the house. The white façades are finished with a plinth in white bricks, while the rectangular, triangular and arched windows are accentuated with similar brick patterns in some places, with red, green or white paint in others, and with a subtle embossing in the plaster in again others. The extension at the back only becomes visible while stepping down the driveway towards the front door on the side, where a nod in the side façade hides the extra volumes from the street.
In a game of contrasts, the extension is mostly finished in white brickwork with a plinth in red ones, both referencing to and differentiating itself from the house in front. Here, as well, some windows are arched or rectangular, accentuated with red, green or white paint, and embossing in some places. The gabled roofs, on the other hand, become one continuous surface from front to back, with cement tiles covering the roofs and some parts of the walls.
Inside, the weight of the original brick structure is contrasted with the light timber frame construction of the extension. The living area unfolds along the entire ground floor as one continuous space, extending from the room at the front, down a number of stairs to a central sitting area and further down to the kitchen and dining area at the back. Large windows draw in an abundance of sunlight by opening up views onto the garden, while a number of voids open the entire building upwards, with interior windows providing views across the different rooms.
From the entrance hall, a staircase leads up two floors, where the upper floors of the old house have each become a bedroom, and small bridges cross the central atrium towards the extension. Here, on the first floor, the master bedroom looks down into the dining area, while the bathroom connects to a triangular balcony cut out in the gabled roof, bringing in sunlight for both the bathroom itself and the dining area below. On the second floor, a small bridge leads into a fourth bedroom, with large windows looking out over the surroundings of the house.
In addition, at the back of the narrow but deep plot, an old shed has been transformed into a garden pavilion. By opening up the roof on one side and cutting two large openings in the façades, an exterior passageway is created. The remaining part of the shed has been enclosed with a greenhouse construction, creating a summer house for peaceful retreat and children games. The additional exterior room in between the greenhouse walls and the former façade, allows for an intimate transition back to the garden and house.