The narrow and long plot of the Janssens – Oosterlinck wasn’t fit for classical scheme of house at the front, garden in the back. A sizeable educational building bordering the parcel on its southwestern edge would have turned the elongated garden into a dark corridor.
Instead, the house was divided into two parts, conveniently taking advantage of the terrain. On the ground floor, the whole width of the front façade opens up to the street. Here, a carport makes the transition between the street and a courtyard, the central element in the design’s lay out. This courtyard, which separates the sleeping from the living quarters, gradually rises from the street level towards. A broad, gentle staircase leads towards the house’s actual entrance, giving access to the living and dining room, from where the front as well as the back garden can be seen.
A passageway departing from the back volume makes the opposite gesture of the courtyard and slopes upwards towards the street side again. At the end of the corridor, a study gives access to both the master bedroom and the upper floor, housing the other bedrooms.
As such, the spaces in the house are organized along a truly architectural promenade, whereby the starting point en the end coincide, although on a different level.
CREDITS: Program: Private house Client: Mr. and Mrs. Janssens-Oosterlinck Location: Wetteren, Belgium Timeline: 2003 - 2006 Project Team: Marie-José Van Hee (architect), Maarten Vanbelle (project architect) Structural Engineer: BAS, Dirk Jaspaert Photography: Marie-José Van Hee, Maarten Vanbelle, Sam De Vocht