Black Box

The project has been implemented on a former cotton factory site at the outskirts of Ghent, Belgium. Although a neglected site at the time, the building takes full advantage of the inherent qualities of the site. Contrary to conventional, space-consuming loft living, the 500 sqm footprint of the industrial barn has been decreased to a merely 75 sqm, creating a compactness of 0.76. The isolated box, created by this design solution, provides a new, environmentally friendly housing typology, an affordable and sustainable alternative to trend related loft living.

Its flexible layout provides for different infill, each time creating a peculiar relationship to the existing building envelope. The project aims to house 3 living units in the near future. The project reflects on an environmentally conscious living style, stimulating a face-to-face relation to the seasons. It provides optimal insulation during winter within a compact volume and extends the livable footprint in summer, when less heating is required. The compact box is made out of a wooden skeleton. It has an average U-value of 0.45, requiring no heating under normal winter conditions.