architecten de vylder vinck taillieu

Kavel Arbed house . GHENT

architecten de vylder vinck taillieu . photos: © Filip Dujardin . + mies award edition 2015 nominee

The ambitions of AG SOB (Ghent Urban Development Corporation) go further than developing new urban districts and redrawing the existing urban fabric. Their Kavel project is an exercise in the precision implementation of small-scale housing following unconventional principles. The corporation seeks opportunities within the urban fabric to build new homes, either individually or in groups ranging from two or three to seven or eight. They do not manage everything themselves. Instead they offer the site to a young or otherwise suitable family, selected from a number of candidates, as a package complete with a selected architect, on highly advantageous terms. The deal is also bound by stringent conditions for financing and programme requirements: a high grade of sustainability is required on a practically impossible budget.

Four plots, or to be precise four families, declare themselves. Four houses are drawn. At first sight four identical houses, but none of them is exactly the same. Not only are the plots different but the families too. Actually they may really be four different problem situations. Like any other assignment, they have nothing to do with one another. Or maybe they do.
House A continues the exercise. The shell itself provides colour. House M sometimes has a pinkish diffused light and sometimes yellowish. The terracotta colour of the large utility bricks is slightly different every time, like shades of natural materials. House A alternates the practically constant colour intonation of concrete blocks with wooden beams and floors, and white walls. The pure play of light is paramount here. Concrete blocks absorb. The walls reflect. The wooden beams add just enough colour.

Olivier Goethals, Sofie Lieben, Sander Rutgers, Sebastian Skovsted, Dawid Strebicki, Rosie van der Schans
Kavel Arbed: 229 m²
2009 – 2013

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