House D is a reinvention of the suburban archetype, a classic pitched roof family house that has been filtered through a passion for crisp concrete, acres of glass and refined craftsmanship.
Located in a housing estate in Maldegem, about 15km east of Bruges, the project was undertaken by the Bruges-based studio of Tomas Nollet and Hilde Huyghe. Together, Nollet and Huyghe have developed an impressive portfolio of contemporary suburban homes, small city apartment blocks and community buildings, infusing their work with a calm modernity in brick and concrete, building on the country's vernacular style.
The brief for House D called for a subterranean garage, so the house was planned as a series of split levels about this excavated space. Seven levels in total are stacked up on either side of a central cast concrete staircase, which is isolated within a glass box that lets light into the heart of the house through a glazed panel in the roof as well as oblique views between floors. Above the living room, dining room and kitchen there are three children's bedrooms, paired with a master bedroom and bathroom, with a work space on the floor above.
From street level, one either steps down to the garage or up to the main entrace. Above the garage, the great wrap-around windows of the sitting room frame the suburban view, all hedges, trees and lawns. This wrap-around device is repeated half a storey above on the garden façade, where the windows slide open for easy access to the lawns.
Detailing is low key and robust. The oversized wooden window frames on the exterior windows are paired with slimmer steel sections for the internal glazed space. House D is characterised by the fluidity of the internal space, with the interlocking plan and glass partitions coming together to make a family home that is simultaneously transparent and also a jigsaw puzzles of private spaces and unexpected views.