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Haus BRAS, DDM Architectuur, Belgien

Like a rock in the woods: Single-family residence by DDM Architectuur

House Bras has been erected on a picturesque parcel of land close to the Belgian city of Antwerp, and comes with a curved ground plan that embeds it in nature. The sinuous volume opens up to the surroundings in all directions, ensuring that rooms are flooded with daylight all day long at any time of the year. Natural stone slabs in various sizes cover not only the facades but also the roofs, lending the residence a monolithic look designed to recall a rock in the woods.

The house is approached from the east, where a drive leading down to the garage seems to split an adjacent small pond into two; the entryway provides access not only to parking spaces but also to technical equipment rooms in the lower storey of the premises. The ground floor is programmatically organised into three sections strung together from east to west and connected by passages: a hobby area with an indoor pool and sauna, a large living area with an open kitchen, and finally a double-height space for music with extensive glazing for a panoramic view of a second pond. Four closed blocks in dark larch veneer are positioned between the individual zones and contain ancillary spaces, access areas, storage space and three rooms. A large bedroom with en-suite bathroom is located on the upper floor, along with a library that overlooks the pond through the music room window.

The numerous extensively glazed openings in the outer skin draw the lush vegetation into the interior. All windows are framed in slender aluminium profiles, which make them seem to continue almost seamlessly into the white walls. Light-coloured stone and wood used for the flooring round off the restrained catalogue of natural-hued materials. The junctions between the individual surfaces display the particular attention to detail that determines the project in general.

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