DESTELBERGEN – Belgian architecture practice GRAUX & BAEYENS Architecten has just unveiled a newly completed copper-clad house in Destelbergen, a Flemish municipality located in the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. The innovative dwelling has startling architectural qualities that appear to transcend the putative dichotomy between familiar trends and marginal design intentions.

Far from indulging in traditional flirtation, the project still provided the architects a unique opportunity to carry out the design of a single-family house boasting a truly contemporary silhouette, that yet remains greatly informed by an explicit archetypal language.

In divergence from the traditional form of its steep-sloped roof, the residence erected nearby the crumbling remnants of a castle having suffered heavy damage during World War II, features façades characterised by an extensive use of glass. This allows the natural surroundings to become an integral part of the living experience.

Following an irregular arrangement, the ground floor was laid out mostly to accommodate living areas whereas the upper level, accessible via a sweeping spiral staircase, holds bedrooms with slanted ceiling lines.

Striving to make all sides equally-appealing, the two-storey structure is organised within a single volume and has no front or back. The choice of non-treated copper for the cladding – likely to turn green through oxidation over time – has helped this contemporary haven creating for itself a powerful image while giving way to its lush rural setting.

Photos Filip Dujardin