House Be is a minimalist dwelling amid nature

House Be by A2o architects is a minimalist family home rising from its green Belgian countryside setting

A side view of a one storey minimalist architecturally designed face brick house with a lawn in front of it and trees behind it.
(Image credit: minimalist architecture)

This minimalist dwelling, House Be by Belgian architecture studio A2o architects, is a family home conceived to allow its residents to experience nature at every turn. The house, set in the country's rich, green countryside, blends structured, mininalist architecture and the fluidity and fun of organic growth, in a result that feels both wholesome and distinctly contemporary. 

The home's design in exposed concrete, wood and brick, creates a tactile composition. Its clean, geometric volumes – low and nestled into the land, but still purposely crisp and modern – have a rhythm accentuated by the openings on the façade and a colonnade that carves a sheltered area around the property's landscaped garden by specialist studio BuroLandschap. 

A room with wooden floors, a potted plant and a glass sliding door opening onto a courtyard with a tree in the middle of it.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

‘In a similar way to romanticist [approach in] 19th-century arts, an attempt was made to create a sensitive tension between a sublime natural landscape and the human presence in it,' the team explains. 

The timber and planting soften the rough-looking concrete bones of the structure, both outside and in. The interior, spreading across three levels – basement, ground and first floor – offers a slow transition between public and private, open and closed, through covered, semi-open areas, large openings and a selection of courtyards and terraces. Careful craftsmanship, natural materials and strategic views make for a space that is brimming with texture and soul. 

A room with a black spiraled staircase, a wooden dining table, a stone wall and wooden flooring.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

The culmination of the visitor's journey inside is the garden room, the main living space that becomes a central core for family life. ‘[It] has been furnished as a contemporary Wunderkammer. Think of it as an art cabinet like those that can be found in the old mansions of dignitaries and freethinkers, where the most extraordinary art and nature objects were brought together and displayed in one room,' the architects explain. Interiors were done as a collaboration between a2o detail and Clara Claes Home concepts. 

‘The interior of the room is composed of various architectural elements and personal objects, a solid wood table, a floating concrete fireplace, a brass light artwork and tropical plants. Next to the garden room, a small ornamental garden was laid out with flowers and rose bushes that are in full bloom during the summer months.'

The front of a double storey square shaped architecturally design house with, large glass walls, a balcony, an outdoor entertainment area and plants and trees in front of it.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

A lounge area with two sofas, a round coffee table, a fireplace in the middle of the room, wooden flooring, a high roof and a large glass windows with curtains in front of them.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

An open plan lounge and dining area below an upstairs balcony.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

A dining area with a wooden table, a marble topped wall counter and wooden panels on a grey wall.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

A reception area with a white chair, a potted plant, a black spiral staircase, wooden flooring and a courtyard surrounded by glass walls.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

A passage way with wood and glass walls and a large cactus in a pot at the end of it.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

A passage way with a wooden console, a potted plant and a wooden door.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

A double storey square shaped architecturally designed house with stone walls, large windows, an outdoor entertainment area and a garden in front of it.

(Image credit: Stijn Bollaert)

INFORMATION

a2o.be

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).

With contributions from