Location: Brasschaat, Belgium
Category: Private residence – holiday home
Type: Newly built
Surface: 80 m²
Status: 2013-2015, completed

The client asked us to design a cottage outside of Antwerp on a deep plot in a forest. Regulations for the plot include restrictions of surface, roof inclination and materials. Permanent occupation is not allowed and the building has to be self-sustainable in terms of waste management. Conceived as a sober volume in wood, we asked ourselves if this building were to be tiny architecture or big furniture.

The layout explores the relation between open and closed, inside and outside. The covered terrace is part of the volume but can be seen as an extension of the living space. In the living space, the fireplace and the kitchen are the main features. The sleeping area is located in an alcove, adjacent to an elementary bathroom.

The outside material is larch, which is suitable for sidings and is maintenance-free, it will turn grayish over time. On the inside, standard OSB panels were used. A reed bed serves as water purification system, removing pollutants from the grey wastewater produced by the inhabitants. This wooden cottage is an example of sustainable planning and environmentally friendly living.

Photography: © Filip Cleynen