Young Belgian sculptor and architect Stijn Ank has recently completed a residential project in the city of Aspelare, Belgium. This is a residence for artists, conceived as an empty, open space defined by three concrete "folds" and enveloped by glass walls.
Cast on site, the concrete follows the slope of the land, and is paradoxically supported by slender steel columns positioned behind the glass envelope. Architecture and sculpture come together in a unique, essential gesture, emphasising the openness and flexibility of this new concept of contemporary living.
The search for a unification of structure and architecture reduces construction to its basic principles. All unnecessary elements have been removed in favour of an open space where the heavy concrete structure appears to gravitate. "Architecture is a primary act exerted on the landscape," says the architect, "it is impossible to speak of three roofs or three walls, but rather one big void."
The concept of the room is completely abolished. Using furniture to define spaces, everything becomes "mobile". Thus, furniture defines mobile spaces — a kitchen, a bed — preserving the void as an open, flexible space.
Stijn Ank: Folding
Architect: Stijn Ank i.s.m. Marc Belderbos
Client: Stijn Ank & Nathalie Van der Haegen
Materials: concrete, steel, glass, poplarwood
Contractor: De Ketele Verhaege