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Façade and paving become one

Since many years, architect couple Hans Weemaes and Karin Janssens from hk architecten in Antwerp, Belgium have worked together in the design of private residences full of character. In both their renovation and new build projects, the pair aims to create a balanced unity between interior and exterior, between home and surroundings, between living, working and relaxation. Frequently, they also design the furniture and garden, including terraces and paving with their preferred material clay.

For a single-family house in Brecht, they were at liberty to give free reign to their architectural vision. The result is a clean but eye-catching residence, where strict volumes seamlessly and playfully fit together and where the paving in the garden cannot be distinguished from the property façade – both made from ceramic materials.

Monolithic appearance and privacy
Hans Weemaes: “For this residence we wanted a particularly strict and monolithic appearance. In doing so, the front of the building facing south is characterised by a relatively closed design. The privacy on the front side is further emphasised using a perforated wall of facing bricks, which was positioned at some distance in front of the actual glazed area on the upper level. In this way, a narrow courtyard space is created in front of the window. The client´s study, which is located behind the glazing on the upper level, thus enjoys soft and filtered daylight, while views from the outside are blocked. On the other three sides, on the other hand, we have designed large window areas for a maximum incidence of light.”

Strict façade with playful elements

The repetitive openings in the wall provide a beautiful as well as playful, rhythmic pattern, which perfectly harmonises with the applied jointing technology. Originally, the facing bricks were to be glued but, ultimately, the client decided against this option so the facades were constructed in a traditional way with black mortar. The horizontal joints were scraped out which, in combination with the random pattern, provides for a subtle horizontal interplay of lines.

Hans Weemaes: “For the façade we selected Forum Ombra brick. For the garden, we were looking for a paver which would be a perfect match with regards to colour, format and appearance, to intensify the monolithic characteristic of the house. We used Terca Crea Nero, as both products are very similar in appearance. We maintained consistency of application in our design approach by arranging the pavers in a random pattern just as with the facing bricks of the house.”

The path merges into the wall

From the road, a path made of clay pavers leads up to the property. The path is lined with plants alternating with Dolomite areas. The transition from the footpath to the house is formed by a raised section leading down to the sunken entrance.

Facts
  • Project name
    Single-family house, Brecht, Belgium
  • Architect
    hk architecten
  • Client
    Private
  • Used products

    Terca Crea Nero & Penter Forum Ombra

  • Year of completion
    2010
Terca Nero

Façade bricks

Terca Arte Nero