exterior. Monday , October 23rd , 2017 - 19:26:04 PM
The street facade is covered in fireproof timber and has a very understated and simple look. There’s a small private courtyard in front, sort of like a buffer zone between the internal spaces and the street. The wood on the facade is stained and has a rich finish which contrasts with the galvanized steel elements. The North facade, the one facing the river, has a totally different structure. This is an all glass facade which doesn’t exactly give much privacy but, at the same time, exposes the internal spaces to the expansive views. The glass also contributes to an overall look that’s robust on one hand but also open and airy on the other hand. Such contrasts are actually quite common with this project.
Would a concrete house look out of place in a forest clearing or on a plot where the only neighbors are the trees and grass? Well, yes and no. Look at Konieczny’s Ark, a project developed by KWK Promes in Krakow, Poland. It’s a house that was shaped by the site on which it stands in the sense that given the remoteness of the site, security was an issue so the architects found a clever solution: to design the house in such a way that only one corner touches the ground while the rest of the building hands over the edge of the hill. This solution also reduced the risk of landslide as rain water flown naturally under the house. So, you see, even if this concrete box doesn’t really seem to blend in at first, it’s actually very well adapted to its location.
When dealing with a lot of concrete, it’s often nice to balance out its coldness with some warm wood elements. It’s what studio Clauwers & Simon did when designing this residence in Belgium. The building is organized around a courtyard and its design is a tribute to Belgian architect Juliann Lampens who is known for the extensive use of concrete both inside and out the buildings designed back in the 1960s. The impact of the concrete in this particular case is softened by the timber and the views of the large garden.
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