Residential, Sint-Gillis-Waas, 2013-2016

An energy-friendly, inexpensive family house, self-sustainable, on a terrain with a misplaced, outdated house, located alongside a historical dike - that was the challenge. Using a massive wood structure construction, IEA designed an extremely compact house with maximum spatial qualities, wich emerges alongside the historical polder dike on the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. Once the prefabricated wooden elements, forming the bearing structure as well as the finished walls and floors, were installed, the owners could further finish up the house themselves: the thermal insulation, waterproofing and the uniform flat clay tiles cladding of the roof and the façades. Through the thoughtful orientation and positioning, the layout of the spaces, the proportions and strategic placement of the openings, the house becomes very energy-friendly. One of the rooms yields a lookout over the dike and the state border. The new house only accommodates all the crucial 'warm' functions, whilst the old existing one contains the secondary spaces which allow lower physical comfort requirements, such as an workshop, a play area, storage rooms and a laundry room. In this way,the old farm building was partially integrated. The house thus fits into the historical landscape, allowing a young generation of residents to give a new meaning to the dike and the living about.

Photos: Bert Beckers