Residence GM

  • Cubyck
  • Onazo marble
  • Petersen brick
  • Mies Van der Rohe
If architecture were a kind of Tetris, Cubyc would be the champion. The architecture firm from Bruges assembled a villa in Keerbergen as if it were a stack of beams and blocks. Cubyc deftly builds tension: as you drive up to the house, you notice that the front is totally closed. Only a black garage space and a faceted window above the front door have been surgically cut out of the mysterious white volume.

The contrast with the totally glazed rear facade is tremendous. A strange choice, actually, for a southeast-oriented house whose closed facade has to bear the heat of the sun’s rays from afternoon till dusk. It turns out the architect expressly requested this: he wanted most of the light to go to the landscape garden, not the interior. This decision had architectural consequences, too, especially for the pool house. In order for the southern sun’s rays to still reach it, the pool house had to be nested deeper in the garden. A monumental wall in sleek Petersen bricks draws the eye towards the pool house and the swimming pool. Its basin, like the terrace, is clad in greenish Onazo marble from Greece.

We also find the Onazo inside the kitchen worktop, cabinet doors, and splashback. Marble, just like Petersen brick, is the perfect bridge between architecture and nature. The Onazo’s green and beige tones return in the landscape garden, whose design by Bureau Voor Buitenruimten is very graphic, with wide grass-covered steps. It’s as if the house creates soft ripples in the landscape, like those of a cobble thrown into a pond.

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Symmetrically to the pool terrace Cubyc drew a brick catwalk to the garden. The narrow footpath embraces the landscape in much the same way that the rear facade’s sidewalls shield the first-floor bedrooms. Mies Van der Rohe is again not far away; the way in which he created exciting perspective views using only awnings and walls was a clear inspiration to Cubyc. Just like Mies, the Bruges architects conceived a house as a succession of frames and sequences. Architecturally, this project has a script and tension. The views of the interior and the garden have been tightly directed so as not to reveal everything at once. Compare it with a thriller: you don’t want to know who did it from page one, do you?

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