The dream of a couple with a semi-detached building in Ghent (Belgium) can be summarized as a standard question for architects: striving for a more usable surface using an extension, more connection with the garden, and more light.
The existing house was just too small to combine a few functional areas (bicycle shed, laundry and ironing room, storage room, cloakroom, etc.) on the ground floor with an office, kitchen, dining room, and living space. Instead of a traditional enlargement of the volume towards the back (the classic Flemish ‘extension’), the Ghent-based architecture office Luchtschip opted to accommodate the functional non-residential spaces in the existing -dark- front of the house and to provide the kitchen and dining area, in combination with small office furniture, in a new volume around the living space on the garden side.
In this way, they kill two birds with one stone: on the one hand, the demand for light in the living spaces is met with a new volume that is as transparent as possible with a direct connection to the side and back garden – on the other hand, a privacy wish has been met by orient the living spaces towards the garden and the functional non-residential spaces towards the street.
The new volume embraces the existing house in an L-shape. The new facade is placed just far enough from the existing one, creating a usable width for the kitchen on the one hand and the dining area on the other. The enlargement is kept as compact as possible to lose as little as possible the surface area of the (already quite limited) city garden.
In the existing rear and side walls, the original window openings are maximized so that the kitchen, desk, and dining area (in the new volume) and living space (implanted in the existing home) are linked both visually and functionally.
The materialization of the new facade reveals the underlying functions: the kitchen and dining area are built in a light timber-framed construction, with the aim being to allow as much light as possible through a multitude of glass, placed in white window frames. The rest of the facade is covered with a wooden cladding that will gray and fade over time, making the entire volume read like a new abstract, a light-colored wrapper around the existing red brick home. The aluminum roof edge subtly defines the new volume.
In addition to the kitchen, office, and dining area, the requested bicycle shed is also provided in the new L-shaped volume, which is also clearly legible: a facade cladding made of galvanized steel wire net closes off the storage area and over time will be overgrown by greenery.
在内部，一个新的混凝土地板从现有的房屋无缝地延伸到新建成的空间。新增的木结构外墙在内部用桦木胶合板装饰，这样一来，白色抹灰的现有体量和新增的木质 “包裹 “之间就有了明显的区别。
Inside, a new concrete floor runs seamlessly from the existing home to the newly built spaces. The added timber-frame facades are finished on the inside with birch plywood so that there is a clear distinction between the white plastered, existing volume and the added new ‘wrap’ in wood.
Architects: Luchtschip Architectuur
Area: 120 m²
Lead Architect: Emily Pescod