House Be by a2o architecten

House Be is an experiment of blending in with nature and is located in Belgium. Conceived and designed in 2022 by a2o architecten, this two-story house features a concrete structure with wooden planks, brickwork, large glass surfaces and a roof overgrown with flowers and plants.

The interior of the property is composed of natural materials such as oak, limestone and upholstery. The structure provides impressive views of the surrounding landscape and a contemporary ‘Wunderkammer’ that is furnished with architectural elements and personal objects. There is also an ornamental garden in the backyard and a basement patio with a Japanese garden, spa and bar.

House Be is a perfect example of a modern concrete design that is unique and offers a comfortable living experience.

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About House Be

Structure in the Landscape

The house of House Be is an experiment in dwelling in and amongst nature. To achieve this, a rhythmic structure was created in concrete, wood and brick, in contrast with the frivolity of the restored landscape. This is reminiscent of the Romantic motif from the 19th century arts, which aimed to create a sensitive tension between a sublime natural landscape and the human presence in it.

The structure of the house consists of fair-faced concrete, shuttered with wooden planks. It was created through careful composition of aggregates, cement, sand, water and additives, resulting in a concrete skeleton with a rough yet soft appearance. It is visible on the facade, the outside passageway and in the interior, which is filled with large glass surfaces and custom-made, smothered in an authentic ring oven brickwork. The window openings are framed by slender window profiles and offer impressive views of the landscape. The roofs are overgrown with flowers and plants, and the garden extends into the building structure.

House Be: Experiment and Tradition

The house develops itself on three levels: the basement (1.83 m), ground floor (3.45 m) and first floor (5.28 m). The organization is conceived as a central trunk with branches, springing from the entrance zone with a private courtyard that forms a soft transition between public and private. Inside the house, the trunk of the route leads past the kitchen and living room into the garden room. The route to the workrooms and the night hall on the other floor deflects from the central axis, thus keeping private life separated.

When walking along the central axis, the view of the landscape gradually opens up, culminating in the garden room which has been furnished as a contemporary “Wunderkammer”. This room contains various architectural elements and personal objects, such as a solid wood table, a floating concrete fireplace, a brass light art work and tropical plants. Next to the garden room, a small ornamental garden was laid out with flowers and rose bushes that are in full bloom during the summer months.

Detail and Craftsmanship

The interior finishing of the house consists of natural materials such as oak, limestone and upholstery. The materials have been applied in a rough yet refined manner. The oak joinery and natural stone floors are brushed and give a special tactility. The woodwork, like the building structure, is simple and clear, without excessive frills. Doorways are not hidden but clearly accentuated, cupboard doors are fitted with wooden slats and visible handles, book shelves and kitchen furniture are partly open. Each room is furnished with appropriate furniture, objects and architectural lighting, as well as with standing and hanging plants, so that the greenery is also brought into the house. This has been carried through to the outside, with an outdoor kitchen and terrace under the awning. The residents can go about their daily lives in search of nature or retreat, and know that they are protected by their home.

Photography by Stijn Bollaert

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- by Matt Watts