Wethi is a minimal residence located in Vorselaar, Belgium, designed by i.s.m.architecten. This concrete building is a single-family house based in a typical Flemish village centre. The bulk of the street consists of rowhouses that have their front facade aligned to the sidewalk due to the predictable extrusion of the imposed gabarit. A thorough, formal investigation into how this house could break through this village frontispiece led to a footprint with a pentagonal shape, reducing the point of contact with the street to a strict minimum. The two resulting wedges have a distinct atmosphere. The exterior space is walled off on one side, thus creating an introverted patio/garden next to the front entrance. The other side remains open towards the garden and the surrounding landscape, making a clean break within the surrounding facade typology. The materialization in concrete, contrary to the traditional brickwork, further emphasizes this break. The interior plan resembles the icon of a house. A solitary triangular concrete column and adjacent sunken seating area give structure to the open plan. An open concrete staircase links the ground floor to the upper level. The warm accents of the plywood in the built-in furniture balances the austere character of the brutal concrete. Colour accents in the sliding door, skylights and bathrooms add a playful touch to the house.
Photography by Luis Díaz Díaz
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