Volt Architecten’s Belgian Housing Scheme Is Designed To Look Like A Farmstead

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This social housing advancement in Zingem, Belgium, responds to its area amongst a occupied road and an agrarian landscape with a “ranch-like” arrangement of buildings framing a central courtyard .

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

Created by Ghent firm Volt Architecten, the Ouwegemsesteenweg growth is named right after the road it is situated on, which connects 3 small villages with a close by motorway.

The complex comprises 14 social housing units, like modest apartments, family residences and accessible units for elderly folks and individuals with disabilities.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

As with the vast majority of properties that stretch along this street, the design of the growth focuses on decreasing noise and views of the road whilst celebrating the site’s proximity to the close by farmland.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

“Constructing on this variety of plot made us consider about the right typology,” architect Steven Verbeke told Dezeen. “In a single way it is a rural internet site, but it is also located alongside an important neighborhood targeted traffic road, which condemns the project to turn into portion of the typical ribbon advancement.”


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“As we did not want to finish up with an allotment of single homes we came up with this hybrid of agricultural architecture,” he stated.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

The team based the scheme’s arrangement on the layout of standard farmsteads, with a gated entrance opening onto a courtyard flanked on both sides by structures of various proportions.

“The ambition was to give it a ranch-like character that is more acceptable to its rural situation,” Verbeke added. “We hoped to incite a much more spontaneous, shared use of the central area and the car-port spaces, consequently the use of simple components this kind of as brick, wood and concrete blocks.”

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

Residences are arranged along either side of the courtyard, with covered vehicle-parking spaces and storage locations incorporated in in between so the creating seems as a single unit. The vehicle ports are topped with timber boxes that kind terraces for the dwellings above and also offer sheltered patio places.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

Entrances to the residences are located in the vehicle ports, concealing them from the view of any individual on the road or in the courtyard. This tends to make it difficult to discern how the buildings are divided up into separate units or how big each and every unit is.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

“We wished to current the housing scheme as a single image,” stated Verbeke. “From the major road it ought to be read as a single developing, not clearly exhibiting the quantity of homes that are incorporated. By adding the primary gate we extra a scale that overrules the scale of the single residence.”

The staggered heights of the buildings imply occupants are capable to get pleasure from views of the surrounding countryside without having overlooking a single an additional. The layout ensures that each property characteristics both a garden or a roof terrace, as nicely as an person parking area and bike storage.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

The gate frames a view via the centre of the advancement in the direction of the fields behind, which is partly limited by a bike shed that juts out on one side.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

“The gate itself frames a new appear towards the landscape,” Verbeke explained. “By joining the ribbon development we hide the landscape, and by emphasising the view and passage in the direction of the landscape we current this hidden image in a new way.”

“The gate also functions as a threshold in between the visitors street ambiance and the countryside atmosphere you practically count on the conventional guard puppy to inhabit the bike shed beneath the gate”

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

A line of paving beginning at the gate traverses the brick courtyard and connects at the far finish with a conventional Flemish cobblestone street that runs perpendicular to the rear of the website.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architects

The irregular height of the facades and the modular arrangement of the structures signifies a two-metre gradient from the front to the back of the site is maintained without the need for retaining walls or excessive excavations.

Photography is by Dennis De Smet.

Social Housing Project by VOLT architectsGround floor prepare Social Housing Project by VOLT architectsInitial floor program Social Housing Project by VOLT architectsSections Dezeen

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