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Villa DtC

Single family house on a sloped plot between two roads overlooking a protected nature reserve. On the one side the house looks like a typical traditional Flemish house with a gable roof, while from the other side it is cantilevered above the slope to create an impressive view of the dunes.

The positioning of the bungalow on the plateau creates large terraces for the residence (in the back as well as in the front) which can be used as an evening streetside terrace. The terrace is shielded by the conical wall, which is provided with a composition of cutouts devised to provide the residence with ample light, optimal view and elegant passage. This wall ensures the privacy of the residents while guaranteeing well-choosen views towards the street and the dunes.

Designing a home, is more than just a technical issue. Location and the builder's priorities are just some of the determining factors in the set of decisions to be made. This detached single-family house is a fine example of a conclusive set of choices and another example of Office O Architects' think-outside-the-box mentality. The building plot is beautifully located between two quiet streets with a mutual height difference of no less than four metres and with an open view of the dune reserve. In this zone, classic regulations such as one storey and a gable roof apply.  On one side, a seemingly classical, traditional translation of these regulations was chosen, in keeping with the fermette style of the neighbours. On the other side, the volume protrudes above the dune. Depending on where you stand, you get a different sensation as a result.  So the working title for this project was aptly 'Desire to Cantilever', the desire to detach from the ground on the one hand and nestle in on the other. Standing at the bottom of the street, you can also see that the building turns towards that maximum view of the dune reserve, so to speak.

The large patio brings in the light and provides a connection between the kitchen and living space via the outdoor spaces. Like the front, this patio can be completely closed off by the wooden louvers. A reassuring system for someone who is often away from home. For the same reason, the whole house has been deliberately kept low-maintenance and the garden wildly planted.

There is a spacious kitchen adjacent to the patio and also a large living space that runs alongside it all the way to the back. The patio gives you contact with the living space from the kitchen without being an open kitchen. With two more bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious dressing room, hallway, cloakroom and office, there is already an expansion option for a family at a later stage.

More questions surfaced during discussions with the builder, due to her particular situation, than a concrete programme. Office O took over the search from her and also managed to answer them. At first sight, it appears to have become a classic plan with an equally traditional programme, giving it the necessary security and reassurance. However, it does incorporate well-considered elements that guarantee the desired flexibility to deal with the contradictions posed.

The client often travels abroad for her job. She wanted a flexible home that could accommodate a family situation at a later stage.

The property features a large master bedroom with dressing room, bathroom, sauna and gym. This area has the allure of a hotel suite. To meet the client's wish to enjoy the surroundings to the full without sacrificing intimacy, the roofline was interrupted at the back to create a roof terrace. Through the large open windows, you can feel the strong presence of the dune. Through the roof terrace, she has access to the first floor, which is completely dedicated to her current lifestyle. Warm and soft materials were chosen, matching the shades of sand, mosses and beach grass. Apart from the use of structural concrete and a polished concrete floor, concrete accents are also used. The wooden louvers and heavily caulked brick give the whole a warm look. The roof and roof terrace are covered with concrete tiles. The balustrade on the roof terrace has a light feel due to the aluminium bars.The large windows at the heart have black annodised aluminium profiles.

In the dressing room and gymnasium, a mirrored wall is provided to reflect the dunes. This also creates special spatial effects, aided by the wall's sloping connection to the sloping roof.

The exterior of the house has a robust look, where in the more intimate core, roof terrace and patio, slim and elegant elements and materials are chosen.

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