Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

The outset for this house was Jan and Régine's search for a refuge from the hectic city life of Antwerp. This plot, situated on the edge of a nature reserve, best fitted these criteria.

The terrain was initially an untouched piece of dune with the typical vegetation running through it. The dune followed the street border from the bottom right to the upper left. From the start it was clear for the design team that it had to be preserved and that the house should become a part of it. The premise of the project was the relationship between dwelling and nature.

The entrance is located on the side of the house. The inner street gives acces to the front doors of the ground and first floor. The other windows are calculated perforations which provide natural morning and evening light apart from perspective and direction at the end of each corridor. Half embedded, the house reveals itself bit by bit. A stroll through the garden, around the house, is the only way to get insight into the way the two stacked entities relate to each other and to their surrounding.

The back facade is closed with one carefully placed window which looks out over the more structured part of the garden and the garden shed, situated at the back of the plot. From this part of the garden, the house resembles a monolith, half embedded in the garden and creating a balance between garden, dune and house. The front, south facing facade does the opposite by opening up entirely towards the surrounding dune landscape.

Peace and balance are reinforced by a consistent and unambiguous use of materials. The facades consist solely of concrete prefab elements and glass. The white sun shadings on the south facade, which open up between the concrete beams, ensure an everchanging front facade. The concrete beams, which have a structuring as well as a constructive function, remain visible on the inside. As on the outside, a rather limited palette of materials was chosen which could serve as a pure canvas for the inhabitants, ready for use.

Design team:

Concept: Paul ibens i.c.w. i.s.m.architecten
Architecture & interior architecture: i.s.m.architecten
Landscape architecture: Erik Dhont

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×

Photographer: Luis Diaz Diaz

VLE - a concrete house in the dunes by i.s.m. architecten | Detached houses ×