Swallow

Newly built apartments and 'tiny house' where the volumes - which are given multiple facades by the long jump in the building line - are able to scale themselves.

Harelbeke, 2018-..., professional client, I.c.w Rooilijn Architectuur



In a row of contiguous buildings, the building line suddenly changes to make way for an elongated market square. The offset produces valuable corner plots. Other perspectives can open up, like in the longitudinal direction of the street. The corner buildings can develop several facades. Focus on the sun. To the life on the square. On the one side of the square, this potential has long been developed by an architectural historical building. On the other side it was not really understood and three non-valuable terraced houses were built, their gaudy blind facades radiating from the missed opportunities. They are decorated with advertisements to give them some meaning. The City of Harelbeke wisely decides to demolish the buildings so that they can make way for a well-thought-out corner building, a gate: something urban and ambitious, something that marks the entry into the city, but at the same time recognizing a context of fragmented, smaller surrounding buildings. The many swallows that lived in the demolished houses also have to find a place again.

One wants to build a number of apartments. Also something for the cars; one and a half place per residential unit is the question. Also urban green. The plot narrows to the rear, but continues and continues until it finally reaches a narrow passage on the quiet street behind it.

The large, quite urban, volume wants to scale itself without reducing itself or trying to dissapear. A number of operations are carried out, handshakes with the surroundings. Just like the surrounding buildings, there is a sloping roof, but then a bit cut. There are two high lines with a low line in between, the roof is dancing, because those lines also follow the many oblique lines of the plot. The volume that was cut away comes back twice as a dormer. The top line of the neighbor's roof is looked up. Keep the peace.

But also the gutter line is being looked for, with a facade detail this time, that insinuates the idea of ??a high plinth. In the field of brick patterns - a different pattern above and below the plinth line - there are openings. They have about the average size of the surrounding buildings. Sometimes the opening is a window. Sometimes they are a terrace, indoor, with claustra infills. Sometimes the opening is also just closed, slightly deeper. Above the windows at the front: round bulbs under the gutter, swallows transport mud to and fro, the breeding season has started.

The cars drive down half a level to below the building. There they are handy, and out of sight; the rest of the plot remains free for green. Half down also means half up: the first living floor is slightly above street level, which mediates the tumult of the busy regional road. Entry is arranged in a quiet side street, there are enough facades. A gate, a canopy and a pergola. Then you are in the hallway. Apartments with multiple facades are designed on each floor. The apartments lay in the width towards the plot, giving them better view and light.

The tiny house does the same. It cartels. It pulls back, cuts away in its volume and puts it back somewhere else. The compact house is staggered with half levels, with a spiral staircase that stops everywhere.

The market sellers started early again. Vegetables are on sale. The chicken is rotating. Someone hung bags with too much leek at the wheel of his bike. He goes round the corner, along the plinth, past people who are already sitting on the terrace, past the gate and through the green, to the house with the spiral staircase.



Partners:
Lime (structure)
2BSafe (energy and safety consultant)

 

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