On the quiet banks of the river Leie, Ghent, Flemish studio Govaert & Vanhoutte Architects designed a single family house for an oldtimer enthusiast, bringing back a luxurious and leisure Mid-Century style.
Within a garden that resembles a golf terrain along a river in Belgium the sculptural concrete bachelor pad designed by Govaert & Vanhoutte Architects is grafted on the lifestyle of its owner, an oldtimer and Mid-Century Modern enthusiast.
The river Leie, that runs through the historic city Ghent is well known for its leisure boating. A bit further downstream from the city centre, many boats reduce throttle or come to a full stop to gaze upon a residence, quite different from the other houses along the river.
The view from the river shows a long floating horizontal concrete framework that defines the ground floor, which holds all day functions, the pool area, and pool house. A second smaller concrete volume contains the master bed and bathroom and two extra rooms with their own service bathroom. A private terrace on the roof, linked only to the master bedroom, has a lowered floor towards the top of the volume, creating a private outdoor space with marvellous views towards the river and the garden.
The entire ground floor area is strongly directed towards the river: most parts of the facade are completely glazed to improve visibility on the landscape. To allow more privacy, a wooden box that looks like a volume that holds the pool house, can be extended with sliding panels, to completely hide the pool area from the passing boats on the river. The front facade facing the street is partially closed by a wooden plane, holding two entrance doors and a gate for the car elevator.
On the first floor each bedroom has a private terrace, while nightly activities reside underground. Descending the stairs along the glazed front facade, the bright ground floor becomes dark like cave with wood and black Moroccan tadelakt to set the tone. The focus in the basement is the big window behind the bar, revealing the inside of the pool. The bar, a DJ booth, a glazed wine cabinet, long lounge benches, the area for exclusive cars, and a built in cigar cabinet, resemble an exclusive underground club.
Residence VDB, Sint-Martens-Latem, Ghent, Belgium
Program: single family house
Architects: Govaert & Vanhoutte Architects, Benny Govaert, Damiaan Vanhoutte
Structural engineering: COBE ingenieurs bvba
Main contractor: De Mey Eddy bvba
Basement: 402 sqm
Ground floor: 265 sqm
First floor: 142 sqm