Lead Architects: Jovanca De Bruycker & Pieter-Jan Leenknecht
Engineering: COBE engineering
Landscape: Tuinen Snaet
Collaborators: ABS Bouwteam
Text description provided by the architects. In a residential area in the neighbourhood of the historical town of Bruges in Belgium, we can find this beautiful marriage of living and working. The clients, both doctors employed in a hospital in the vicinity, were dreaming of a new house with room for their medical practice at home. After looking around, they found the ideal location in a lot with originally two parcels including an old house. Cas Architects did the rest.
First of all they gratefully made use of the location: a place, adorned with old oaks and beeches. Pieter-Jan Leenknecht: They add to the creation of perception of the project. We chose for an intimate architecture with brick and glass, fitting perfectly in the surroundings. For us, this always is a starting point. The fact that the client, being very interested in architecture as well as design, shared our view certainly added to the success of this project.
In the rather closed-looking facade, the visitor is invited by the somewhat hidden window near the waiting room of the practice. The proper front door, leading to the private section of the house, is situated a bit further to avoid misunderstandings. Cas architects saw to clear separation - acoustic as well as visual – between practice and private by means of deduplicated walls.
Logically, practice and garage are situated at the front, while all rooms for living are oriented towards the garden and the swimming pool alongside the completely opened out back. The kitchen got a prominent role. A charming patio with a stamp window that catches the morning sun right on the stove, adds to extra perception just as the integrated covered terrace near the dining area. The water of the swimming pool, that can be seen from every corner of the house, offers calm as well as beautiful reflections.
On the upper floor, a smaller volume that follows the L-form of the ground floor, the sleeping area is situated. Two rooms for children and a guestroom, at the frontside of the building, are separated from the rest by a long hall. At the end of it, there is a toilet and a shared children’s bathroom. The master bedroom with its own bathroom, overlooks the garden while the elongated walk-in dressing stretches out alongside the rear facade.
The interior as well as the exterior are timeless. The long facing brick Kolumba of Petersen makes the house blend very well in the surroundings. The use of glass and aluminium makes the shell of the house excel in minimalism and easy to maintain. The applied materials, such as the Ceppo di gre tile that can be found on the terrace and alongside the rear facade together with a lot of wood, ensure that the line between the inside and the outside is negligible.
With this project, Cas Architects designed a house that easily will stand the test of time and at the same time making it an ideal combination of living and working. “Each architect sets himself the goal to satisfy his client and this certainly happened here. I think each design is entwined with its surroundings. On another location, this would perhaps be too fragile or too dominant, but here it fits perfectly.”