House in Deurle, Belgium | David Chipperfield & DDM Architecten

This private house in Deurle, suburban Gent, Belgium, is a recently completed project by David Chipperfield Architects in cooperation with Belgian architect Dirk De Meyer of DDM architectuur.

The building’s simple, ground floor spaces allow the landscape have a strong presence, viewed through full height openings that face the garden. The layout consists of four main shifted building blocks that give the house a sculptural quality while defining different outdoor terrace areas. 

The entire house is constructed in brown tone self-compacting concrete that connects to the colors of the adjacent forest and barks of pine trees. Terrazzo floors complete the rich surface quality and, together with the built-in interior furniture, contribute to the air of simplicity to the spaces. 

Photography © Kristien Daem | Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects & DDM architectuur

Description from David Chipperfield architects:

The starting point for this house in Deurle, suburban Gent, was to create a single-storey building that maximised the potential for interaction between the garden and the house while fitting into the existing landscape of the site. The site stretches between a forested hill with tall pine and oak trees to the west, and a residential neighborhood to the east. The house hugs the east side of the site to benefit as much as possible from evening sun reaching over the trees.

Living spaces within the house are divided into four main building blocks which are then shifted off the horizontal axis to give the building a sculptural quality within its setting. This shifted layout allows the house to define several different outdoor areas, including an east-facing breakfast terrace with a kitchen garden, and a dinning terrace on the south side.

The pool area extends south from the main living areas of the house, creating a visual extension to the building. The pool house at the southern end is hidden behind a clipped hedge, which also screens the pool area form the neighbors in the east. The garage is pulled away from the main building, towards the road. It also provides the main entrance to the house through an integrated corridor. Between the garage and the main building is an entrance courtyard, defined and surrounded by a covered walkway.

The exterior of the building is concrete in a brown tone chosen to create connections with the adjacent forest and the bark of the pine trees. Throughout the whole building a terrazzo floor provides a rich surface quality and air of simplicity to the space. The built-in furniture is part of the space and creates a calm and neutral environment for the owner’s art collection. The house’s simple, calm spaces allow the landscape to form a powerful and changing presence, viewed through tall windows which slide completely into the wall to create unobstructed openings into the garden. 

Sketches & Model © Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects & DDM architectuur

Plan © Courtesy of David Chipperfield Architects & DDM architectuur

Source: David Chipperfield Architects | DDM architectuur  | VAi | Cornelius