Project descriptionThe Belgian town of Smetlede, south east of Ghent, is located in a rural area composed of fields, meadows and forested areas. These landscape components are apportioned by a loose network of lanes and streets. It is only on the edges of these pathways that one encounters houses grouped in smaller colonies or villages. Indra Janda has carefully inserted this solitaire in an existing farmyard. The pavilion becomes a part of an ensemble made up of the main house and auxiliary buildings. By siting it between two structures the architects created a defining back edge of the garden. The positioning of the massing is as practical as the building form itself. Smaller and more compact than the neighbouring structures, the new pavilion adopts their gable roof and aligns itself with the main building, but maintains a discrete distance. The matter-of-factness of the solitaire continues over to its surface and the scales of white, translucent polycarbonate shingles sheathe the entire volume.
The pavilion unobtrusively finds its footing without trying to outdo the existing building or the surrounding trees. This impression is underscored by the ample openings toward the garden: these reveal the lightweight construction method and mitigate the skin’s otherwise tendentially monolithic guise. Atop the concrete slab on grade is a wood frame erected employing the cross beam and rib construction method. The required diagonal bracing is independent of the structure’s symmetry. In consultation with the engineer, who in Belgium must also be involved in such a small project, an idiosyncratic yet down-to-earth structure came about. By eliminating roof beams, the team maximized the spaciousness of the interior.
The material scheme was implemented every bit as thoroughly: the process involved installing bespoke polycarbonate shingles – they were cut to size by hand – with a conventional mounting technique. The decisions made on site with the engineer and the artisans have yielded a sensitive, harmonic new addition to the ensemble.
Project detailsbuilding type: special constructions, pavilion
support structure construction: frame construction
facade construction: façade, shingles
support structure material: wood
facade material: plastic, polycarbonate
roof material: plastic
interior work material: wood, natural wood, plastic
topic: lighting design, lightweight constructions, materials and finishes
issue no.: 05/2015