- Architecture & development
VD House is located close to the Royal Antwerp Golf Club in Kapellen. The green surroundings played a very important role in Dieter Vander Velpen's architectural design. In addition, the home had to reflect the preferences, lifestyle and personality of the client. The result exudes tranquillity and relaxation, as if the residents are on holiday every day in their own home.
Various elements in the interior were also inspired by nature. "From the beginning of the design process, the intention was to optimally involve the garden in the house and to bring nature inside," says the architect. In an earlier occupation of the site, a beautiful garden had already been laid out with, among other things, a centuries-old 3-stemmed oak tree. It was given a central position in this project and influenced the ground plan in a significant but successful way. The main building of the house was conceived in an L-shape and the elongated swimming pool with pool house provided the third side. Together with the imposing oak tree all these elements form a square with an enclosed garden in the middle. In contrast to most houses – predominantly closed at the street side and only open to the rear – this house extends in all directions. Therefore, the choice was made to use very thin window frames that visually disappear, thus minimising the view to the outside. In some places, the windows can even slide away into the wall, blurring the boundary between inside and outside even more and you can see what it's all about. Also on the inside, the link with the green and wooded surroundings is omni-present. And not only because of the large windows, abundant natural light coming in and beautiful views of the garden and the golf club. "A warm palette of materials with neutral tones has been used in the interior," says Dieter Vander Velpen. Referring to the imposing tree in the garden, oak is therefore also used in the cupboards, the floating staircase and the wide parquet planks. This natural material was combined with grey Travertine, as can be seen in the central volume in the living and dining area: a unique fireplace that functions as a room divider. In the entrance hall and kitchen we find the same Ceppo di Gres floor as the terrace and walkway in the garden, which again increases the link between inside and outside. The bathroom is also cloaked in a beautiful natural stone in two shades: Fior di Bosco.
"Optimally involving the garden in the house and bringing nature inside."
That Vander Velpen is a master in combining luxurious materials is especially obvious when looking at the kitchen. Here, the previously mentioned oak and Ceppo di Gres enter into a stylish dialogue with patinated bronze (fronts of the kitchen island) and grey Dekton (worktop and splash wall). Furthermore, throughout the house the clean lines and white walls are softened by loose linen curtains, large carpets and a cosy decoration in the same neutral tones. "Inside, the residents wanted a light, fresh atmosphere that still felt warm," explains the architect. According to us he succeeded very well in achieving that result and making it a harmonious whole. We have to be sure to mention the general architecture and the characteristic outer facade. Here, too, the architect was able to create a certain lightness: "In the architecture, we have focussed mainly on the long lines that extend in different directions, which is reinforced inside by long visual axes throughout the entire house.” The ground floor, with its many sliding windows and thin window frames, is almost completely transparent, apart from a few surfaces covered in black stained wooden slats. Especially at the rear side of the house with the cantilever above the living area, it seems as if the first floor floats above the ground. This upper floor was also clad with extra long, handmade Kolumba bricks from the Danish brand Petersen. With a length of fifty centimetres, the linearity of the house is further accentuated. Nevertheless, the house looks soothing and is completely in balance with its surroundings.
You can read the full article on VD House in Imagicasa Spring 2020. You can still order this issue on our webshop.