Architects: TOOP architectuur
Location: Westouter, Heuvelland, Belgium
Photographs by: Tim van de Velde
CASWES House by TOOP architectuur
TOOP architectuur, a local studio, have designed a low-lying concrete and wood house located in rural Belgium, in Westouter, a village in the Heuvelland municipality. The minimalist facades of this house are interrupted by large windows that lighten the entire interior with natural light. There’s also a central patio that separates the living and sleeping areas.
The building is located on a long and narrow plot that stretches away from the road, having the house positioned at the end of a short cobbled driveway.
From the architects: “North of the West-Flemish village of Westouter one can find a plot in an open and rural landscape, heavily influenced by the typical agricultural activities in the area. The setting has had a great impact on the design of this single family house, which is solemnly surrounded by a few farms and a group of trees here and there.
The atypical shape of the parcel, together with the not so ideal orientation of the plot have been transformed into remarkable assets for the project. The single-story volume of the building is a consequence of the lack of surrounding buildings. This choice of design has limited the appearance in the surroundings greatly. The cut-off parallel to the border of the plot was used to enhance the synergy between building and nature and made sure the inhabitants have the best possible view on nature at every possible angle.“
“The living areas are situated at the north of the house. This is also the side were the connection with the surroundings is at its maximum. An intimate inner garden creates a private area for the inhabitants and is a gateway for natural light. This patio is the heart of the house, where life is directed by the ever-changing seasons.
The building materials, have been guided by the vibrant colours of the rural landscape. Grey wood, patterned concrete and dark, anodised windows are the main components. The use of concrete is a wink to the historical nature of the surroundings and accentuates the massiveness of the building. Oak floors provide warmth to the interior and the kitchen area made of black-stained oak acts as a resting point. These basic colours make sure the focus is on what is happening outside, not inside.
The high accessibility, due to the single-story volume, is a sign that the project will grow together with the inhabitants and expresses a clear demand for life long living. The different areas are all connected with each other. This way, the close relationship with nature and the area are never forgotten.”