FLANDERS VILLA IN THE VILLAGE
The Flanders Villa in the Village is a private home, recently completed this year 2019, and an excellent case on contemporary suburban living and building. The building is situated on the property in a particular positioning to take advantage of the garden and rural landscape beyond. The house is made largely of curvilinear glass and site-cast concrete from shipbuilding quality wooden formwork. The texture and horizontal rows of the concrete façade reference the brick work common in Flanders. Two car ports provide a barrier from the street and public life. A curvilinear glass façade leaves open privileged and extended views to the calm and private back yard garden and rural landscape beyond. The main shared zones (entry hall, kitchen, living room and office space) are positioned on this first level, whereas the bedrooms and secondary shared zones are on the second. The second level spaces are arranged into three identically proportioned solid rectilinear blocks. The eccentricity between the two floor plans creates fluid living spaces and large covered terraces on the ground level, while the upper level is more austere, and demarcates efficient living quarters, bathrooms, and storage closets. The weight of the upper blocks with relation to the curvilinear glass wall would be unsettling if not for two expressive and large shapely columns that structurally and visually support the weight of the concrete blocks. The columns are seen artistically as organic shapes, sensual forms that mediate between the two levels and the inside/outside relationships between the house and the landscape. The cast in place concrete formwork is treated with exceptional care and detail, modelled and assembled by hand with parametric design. Short wooden planks, with offset arrangements are a modern interpretation of two traditional techniques: 1. Shipbuilding, i.e., the outer layer of wooden hulls, 2. Stretched brick courses in the Flemish bond. This dual interpretation was discussed during the design process using Umberto Eco’s concept of “Operta Aperta” or “Open Work”. Eco stated that the essence of a modernist (art) work lies in the fact that it has a level of abstraction allowing for multiple different readings. This pluralism ideally amounts to a more democratic interpretation, providing responsibility in the user or spectator to activate the work.
ORG is a design company which thinks, designs and delivers across scales: from constructed environments research and technology (Elements), buildings (Architecture), to urban and regional developments (Urbanism), offering a broad range of professional services. ORG has an international network with office locations in New York (USA) and Brussels (Belgium) and an affiliated research lab at MIT. ORG was founded in 2006 by Alexander D’Hooghe, Natalie Seys and Luk Peeters. In 2015, Marcel Smets joined as partner at ORG Urbanism. ORG has a multidisciplinary team of professionals, including high-level designers, project managers, expert consultants and technical specialists with backgrounds in architecture, civil engineering, building technology, computation, real estate, landscape and urban design, and planning. Recent works include: Antwerp Ring Road (2019), Beveren City Hall & Police (2019), City Campus in Gryson (2019), City Gate in Anderlecht (2019), and Tervuren Plaza and Garden (2017)