Antwerp-based architecture practice i.s.m.architecten was established in 2009 by two good friends, Koen Pauwels and Wim Van der Vurst, who previously worked together for renowned Belgian interior office Bataille & ibens.
TDH house, designed by the team of i.s.m.architecten is a great example of their believes in the indivisibility of architecture and its interior space. The building is located in the province of Flemish Brabant, Grimbergen, Belgium. The plot, where the very modern, contemporary TDH house is located, remained unsold for a very long time due to its irregular shape. The challenge was to design a property, which will nicely fit into an oddly shaped plan. The architects designed a building, that appears as a monolithic concrete volume, featuring an angular form, that follows the outline of the plot, while one of the corners is removed and creates a sheltered parking area and entrance.
The unusually shaped concrete residences’ heaviness was balanced by the natural materials, which offset all the raw features of the windowless facade, facing the street. “On the interior side, an equilibrium was pursued by adding natural materials and subtle color accents to contrast the grey of the concrete walls. As a result the house doesn’t feel as cold as one would expect of a concrete house, but succeeds in creating a warm harbor for its occupants.” explained the architects about the aesthetic of the home.
The whole building is built of in-situ concrete, which lends the house a feeling of a massive base. The issue of privacy as an important value to the architects and the client was taken into account while planning the structure of the house. Despite the seeming closedness of the building, it satisfies the needs of a family. There is discretion from the street-side for such parts of the building as the circulation areas and the bathroom, but on the upper floor one gets the chance to look out through the roof which folds open to the street and sky. All the living areas are located in the back of the house, opening up to the beautiful garden.