In the serene, wooded landscape of Flanders, Belgium, the architectural firm SAOTA has crafted a contemporary masterpiece that seamlessly integrates with its natural surroundings. The Flanders House project exemplifies SAOTA’s commitment to designing structures that are not only visually striking but also deeply connected to their environment.

The site provided a unique opportunity for SAOTA to create a distinctive architectural object that serves as a warm and inviting living space. The design comprises a main house, a basement parking garage, and a separate pool pavilion equipped with a home office. These elements are cohesively linked through a series of landscaped courtyards, koi ponds, and a swimming pool, creating a harmonious flow between indoor and outdoor spaces.

SAOTA designs contemporary home in Belgium
SAOTA designs contemporary home in Belgium

Architectural Design and Layout

The exterior design of Flanders House is characterized by solid cubes interspersed with glazed voids, all unified by a slender canopy that wraps around three sides to form expansive outdoor terraces. Vertical columns, which double as sculptural screens, add a dynamic element to the facade. This design choice not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also reflects the internal spatial organization of the house.

Inside, the client’s preference for traditional, well-defined rooms over an open-plan layout is evident. The cellular interiors open outwards to the terraces and inwards towards a double-volume central atrium illuminated by skylights. This central atrium serves as the heart of the home, fostering a cozy and inviting environment during the winter months while allowing for an open, indoor-outdoor lifestyle during the summer.

Material Palette and Detailing

The exterior of Flanders House features a restrained yet elegant palette of materials. Walls are clad in Giallo D’Istria marble, floors are laid with sandstone, and fireplaces are paneled with Alucabond aluminum sheets. These materials are punctuated by large glass panels, creating a striking contrast between the precise architectural detailing and the organic textures of the materials. This interplay amplifies the inherent beauty of each material, adding depth and richness to the design.

Environmental Integration

SAOTA’s design for Flanders House is not just about aesthetic appeal; it’s about creating a living environment that engages meaningfully with its surroundings. The structure fosters an authentic connection with nature, with rooms that fragment and erode as they transition to the terraces and atrium. This design approach invites glimpses of the garden deep into the interiors, creating a fluid and seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

The simplicity and formal clarity of Flanders House underscore its function as both a tranquil living environment and an architectural object. By fostering a connected relationship with its natural setting, the house stands as a testament to SAOTA’s design philosophy of creating spaces that are both beautiful and contextually relevant.

Project Name: Flanders House
Project Location: Belgium
Lead Designers: SAOTA
SAOTA Project Team: Philip Olmesdahl, Joe Schutzer-Weissmann, Nasreen Larney, Bobby Labrou & Valerie Lehabe
Architect of Record: Apart Architects
Project Manager: Hadewijch Geuskens
Interior Designer: Pieter Laureys
Furnished by: TKI Interiors
Contractor: Van Mourik Bouw
Electrical Engineer: High End Electro
Landscaping: Wirtz International
Lighting Design: Cone Lighting
Photographer: Adam Letch

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