Groe’s House by Crahay & Jamaigne

Designed in 2016 by Crahay & Jamaigne, this contemporary single-family dwilling is situated in Eupen, Belgium.

Description

First construction erected in the subdivision, this single-family dwelling has an advantageous geographical location, between town and forest. Located on the heights of Eupen, the plot, accessible from a secondary road in dead-end, borders the Hertogenwald forest massif and dominates the Vesdre valley. This offers him rich and diverse views on the near and far landscape. The distance between the subdivision and the main road adds to the plot a peaceful atmosphere.

The house takes hold in the secondary access road and develops itself, through its slender morphology, parallel to the contour lines and focus on the aforementioned views. This “blocks” thus established, organizes the spaces according to their characteristics and declines them, depending on their location in the system.

On the street, it offers a carport area integrated into the volume and allows an access, under cover, to the front door. This layout is embellished with features as outdoor storage and firewood storage which enriches space. This first sequence induces a distancing from the inhabited space to the public domain and allows first step in space privacy.

The ground floor of the house includes the living rooms as the parental suite and “service” areas (laundry room, utility room). This request from the owner emerges from a reflection for the future, a desire to use the house as “autonomous” and usable even for people with reduced mobility. The spaces are organized according to their characteristics; the suite and the service areas are found at the start of the system, with a rather introverted attitude, while the living room opens up widely to the landscape at the end of the volume. This pattern is repeated on R-1 (partially buried level) with the earthen technical spaces and the children’s rooms facing the forest.

This principle is interpreted on the facade by the use of vertical openwork cladding declined according to the cladding spaces. Thus, as close as possible to public space or opposite neighboring properties, the cladding covers the bays and acts as a visual filter. In specific places, the cladding timbers even have an adapted section allowing the cancellation of prying eyes at an angle. When the context permits, the cladding leaves room for large bay windows. This adaptation of a single material allows a homogeneous reading of the volume, which simplifies and reinforces its particular morphology.

Ultimately, the development of the surroundings will strengthen the attitude of the volume towards its environment, both by privatised the spaces and enhancing the quality of the landscape.

Photography courtesy of Crahay & Jamaigne

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- by Matt Watts

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