Project: Living in the Woods / House WADV
Architects: BASIL architecture
Lead Architects: Robin Van Beveren & Lorenzo Deceuninck
Location: Aalter, Belgium
Area: 180 m2
Photographs: Giulia Frigerio, Liesbet Goetschalckx
This former chalet was transformed into an airy house, whereby the volume of the extension was adapted to the positioning of the existing oak trees. The structure is made of steel and finished with black-oiled wooden cladding and a gold anodized facade.
Maintaining a holiday feeling, opening up to the garden as much as possible, as well as creating a captivating spaciousness through the expanding roof shape in contrast to the limited ceiling heights of the existing parts. The kitchen is situated in between the old and new and forms the transition between day and night functions.
The site, formerly characterized by an archetypal chalet acting as a holiday home, is situated in the woods of Aalter (Belgium). In order to keep this holiday feeling, it was decided to preserve the existing chalet volume and to let it expand in a rhythm of roofs, again executed in a wooden cladding.
Parallel to the street, a golden façade is created, perpendicular to the residential volume, as an entrance area for the residents and their guests. The same golden accents are repeated in the exterior and interior. They form a warm natural touch within the green context.
The living areas, a succession of sitting areas, the dining room, and the kitchen form a ‘belvedere’ on the surrounding fauna and flora. The bedrooms are located at the rear, facing the more intimate garden areas, with the bathroom and sauna area in between, which again opens to the garden.
The extension is formed as a steel structure, enabling to create of a very open architecture to the landscape with a minimum of columns or walls. Hidden behind the plaster wall finishings. The golden canvas windows highlight the beautiful natural forest environment and maximum open views. The plan layout is partially created as a result to maintain the existing oak trees on the plot.
This single-family house includes 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a sauna, a living area, a kitchen, a pantry, a basement, an office area, etc. The void between the kitchen and the office area creates a fascinating interaction. The centrally positioned kitchen with a spacious cooking island forms the heart of the house.
The Corbusier colors were used to bring the right accents in the interior, in dialogue with the black wooden flooring and clear white wall and ceiling finishing. Blue Outremer is used throughout the house, not only for the switches in the night area but even for the structural columns, the stairs, and the Togo Sofa (Ligne Roset) in the living area, as for the faucets. Ombre Natural (greyish brown) is used as the color of the whole bathroom: wall, floor, and ceiling, as it is flooded with daylight and large views of the forest garden.
House WADV is a good example of how a banal chalet can be refurbished to a contemporary single family house, without losing the initial holiday feeling and dialogue with its environment, on the contrary. It also shows the strength of playing with colors inside and outside, and again how it refers to its natural environment.