House in Brussels

Samyn & Partners

Architects: Samyn & Partners
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Area: 600 m2
Photography: Marie-Françoise Plissart, Andrés Fernández Marcos

This house for an artist includes the street level of an existing small house. It now houses the entry hall, a family room and a kitchen; the living-room and the stairway are in the extension to the building.

Site plan

Façade vegetation

The second floor includes the master bedroom with its bathroom, as well as five children’s rooms and sanitary installations. They are equipped with a mezzanine protected by textile netting that will lead to the glassed-wall façade.

The house presents curved and vegetalised façades that are very private and closed to the neighbours to the north, the east and the south. In contrast, the west façade is entirely glass-walled as if it were one huge partitioned window.

Immense translucid white polyester curtains in widths of 1.6 m, suspended from the top of the structure to the ground floor, are planned to run along this great «window» to ensure shade in the summer months.

Initially conceived as a wall of ivy with a patinated copper roof, the vegetalised façade is finally composed of a selection of exotic plants chosen by the botanical artist Patrick Blanc, and it extends to cover the roof.

We had to design the structure, the insulation, and the water-tightness of the envelope and resolve the building physics issues in order to receive the necessary support systems, irrigation and fertilisation systems for the plants, which are set into a felt support stapled to rigid PVC panels.