DE STEK – BOURGOYENDE SMET VERMEULEN ARCHITECTEN

TWO NATURE ASSOCIATIONS SHARE A NEW PASSIVE WOODFRAME BUILDING ON THE EDGE OF THE EXTENSIVE MEADOW RESERVE WHERE THEY OPERATE. ONE IS INVOLVED IN NATURE CONSERVATION, THE OTHER IS A YOUTH ORGANISATION. THE BUILDING SITE AND THE LARGER PART OF THE CONSTRUCTION BUDGET WERE OFFERED BY THE MUNICIPALITY, WHILE VOLUNTEERS PROVIDED BOTH FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND THEIR OWN LABOUR. THE MASONRY IN USED BRICKS WAS DONE BY AN EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM’S APPRENTICES. THE TIMBER FACADES, TECHNICAL INSTALLATIONS, LARGE PARTS OF THE INTERIOR FINISHING AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SITE LAY-OUT WERE DONE BY THE USERS, AS WAS THE SELECTION AND PREPARATION OF THE TREE TRUNK THAT SUPPORTS THE RIDGE.

THE NEW BUILDING, BOTH AN OFFICE, A SHED AND A CLUB HOUSE, IS A PLACE TO COME HOME TO AFTER VENTURES OUTDOORS. IT HAS TWO IMPORTANT NEIGHBOURS: A REGIONAL NATURE CENTRE AND A SPORTS HALL, WHICH IT IS UP AGAINST SO AS TO BE ABLE TO BENEFIT FROM THE PAVING AND THE UNDERGROUND PIPES.

A LITTLE SLOPE INTRODUCES A SPLIT-LEVEL IN THE OFFICE. BELOW, IN THE HIGHER PART OF THE BRICK PLINTH IS A TOOL SHED. THE PREVALENCE OF THE GATE, THE COLOR SCHEME AND THE COMPACTNESS EVOKE A FARMHOUSE, MORE CONFIDENT IN ITS NEO-RURAL SETTING THAN THE NEARBY SUBURBAN DWELLINGS. AS TO THE RESPECTIVELY INDIFFERENT AND EDUCATIONAL SETTING OF THE SPORTS HALL AND THE NATURE CENTRE, OUR ANSWER IS DOMESTICITY: ON THESE PREMISES A HOUSE WAS MISSING.