DC II Residence, Belgium | Vincent Van Duysen

DC II Residence, located in Tielrode, in the countryside of Belgium, is a recent project developed by Vincent Van Duysen Architects.

The house consists of the new main house and the renovated old existing barns on the ground. The design returns to the simple typology of rural buildings with pitched roofs, positioned around a courtyard. The house, sitting on the footprint of the original structure, is located between the courtyard and the surrounding fields, where one can enjoy the enclosed patio and the views towards the fields.

The buildings volumes reference to the tradition in a contemporary and sophisticated approach. All three buildings are completely clad in timber, a single material carefully detailed. Any kind of ornamentation is avoided, with concealed gutters, chimneys and other functional elements invisible, and with carefully placement of doors and windows.
The result is abstract, natural and pure, in relation with its green surroundings and rural buildings.

Photos © Koen Van Damme

Description from Vincent Van Duysen Architects:

The project for a house in Tielrode is the second project for the client of the DC residence in Waasmunster, which Van Duysen designed in 1998. The client is moving from a purely residential neighborhood to a rural environment. The brief existed of the building of a house, adapted to these rural and informal surroundings. Apart from the main house, the project also concerned the renovation of the old farm barns.

The position of the new built house was restricted by the footprint of the existing house. The concept of Van Duysen to go back to the simple rural building typology (a long volume parallel to the street, with a 45° gable roof) refers to the tradition of simple farm houses in the region. By its position, it strengthens the courtyard in between the house and the barns, opened up to the street. The house is situated between the courtyard and the fields, in this way enjoying both the smaller scale of the enclosed courtyard (with the midday sun), as well as the far and wide views on the fields.

The reference to tradition in the basic volume is combined with a contemporary execution. The detailed approach to the design and the material palette add to the contemporary character of the house. By the use of a consistent material for the façade, any ornamentation is removed from the design: the typical gutters and ridges are nearly abstract, invisible. The traditional roof overhang was not executed, the door thresholds were not carried out in Belgian bluestone, and the wooden façade –making reference to the old wooden barns- is continued on the roof.

After consultation with the client and the contractor, the two old barns were not renovated but rebuilt, in the same design language as the main house, adding to the character of the total project. At first glance, because of their abstract character the three volumes don’t seem rooted in the rural context. However, when you enter the courtyard, you feel that the project is indeed grown rooted in the tradition and the scale of the immediate environment.

The principles of a passive house were followed and achieved in the design, with the collaboration with Denc!-studio, and architectural studio specializing in sustainable construction.
The landscape design by landscape architect Paul De Roose, was limited on purpose to the careful planning of solitary trees, the restoration of the beautiful holly hedge around the terrain and the use of a brushed concrete floor, typical for a function farm courtyard. These concrete floors are continued in the house in a sandblaster finish, where they set the tone for a sober interior, fitting the atmosphere of the architectural project.

Drawings © Courtesy of Vincent Van Duysen Architects

Source: PlatformaArquitectura | Vincent Van Duysen Architects