House EK

A former municipal school in the middle of the Flemish Ardennes needs to be converted into a multipurpose, common space that would serve two additional housing units. One unit is situated in the former teacher’s house; the second single-family house is planned at the back, bordering the former playground. The building is conceived as a glass volume, fit in seemingly effortlessly between the original brick garden walls. The concept is put to the limit by materializing the interior walls with almost the same bricks as the existing garden walls (STEP 2).

The volume takes the place of the original sanitary building and forms the separation between the playground and the garden behind. Transparency is maximized by limiting load-bearing walls to the sides of the building. The central kitchen block forms the only structural and technical core and ensures the separation between the hall and the living room (STEP 3). The bedrooms and bathroom are located in the basement in order to minimize the impact of the volume on the surroundings. The bedrooms receive natural daylight thanks to an excavated slope extending towards the garden (STEP 4). The result is a modest pavilion that effortlessly interweaves with its context (STEP 5).