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We travel because we need to, because distance and difference are the secret tonic to creativity. When we get home, home is still the same, but something in our minds has changed, and that changes everything.
House hkZ by BLAF Architects
is a residence located in Zoersel, Belgium, designed by
BLAF's interest in sustainable construction is not limited to the energy performance of buildings. What characterizes BLAF is that we continue to respond in design to the increasingly complex issues of spatial planning, sustainability, affordability, circularity and housing. Our vision development is based on, among other things, experimenting with the basic component of our “genetic” material: the single-family house.
The building program is conceived as a paved footprint that includes both the heated residential program and some private outdoor spaces. The whole is enclosed by a grid of concrete piers, topped by a concrete ring beam that envelops the underlying and varying roof shape. This structure defines a clear physical boundary, without being closed to its environment. Consequently there is no need for additional physical parcel demarcation. Only the moat at the front of the plot perpetuates the private-public gradient. The facades of the outer contour of the structure are parallel to the plot boundaries. Closed parts were provided in facade masonry within the concrete grid. The facades of the heated residential program, on the other hand, are partly oriented at an angle of 45 ° and were mainly provided as transparent facade parts. Only the completely south-facing facade was partly provided with closed facade surfaces with a wooden cladding to prevent overheating. As a result, different sightlines / perspectives unfold within the home towards the predominantly green context. These views enhance transparency and appropriately maximize contact with the environment. The different spaces / rooms of the residential program were planned within the heated volume according to the logic of the orientation. On the ground floor there are all the necessary spaces to be able to speak of a lifelong residential process: living areas, storage, sanitary areas and the parents' bedroom. The children's bedrooms, on the other hand, were positioned semi-underground with a view over the grass line of the garden areas. This within the logic of the rising heat and thus optimal results for the energy performance of this home.
The blurred boundary between inside and outside is visually reinforced by the “outside rooms” that are part of the built program. They literally fold themselves from the outer contour into the house and thus intertwine inside and outside. The concrete grid of which they form part, on the other hand, defines a clear figure within the green plot that can thus retain its individuality / grand character. The relief of the garden remains unchanged. Further pavements around the house are reduced to a minimum, in the form of an access path to the front door and lanes for a car. They are provided in a permeable way.
Photography by Stijn Bollaert
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