Facade Focus: Brick

Originally published in 

Yves Borghs and Katleen van Ammel wanted their new house to offer maximum privacy but also maximum light. The solution proposed by Tom Verschueren, of Mechelen, Belgium-based DMVA Architects, was to create a closed street-side facade with an open backside facing the garden, totally glazed from the ground up to the saddleback roof. On the street side, the only true opening is the door; the seven tall, slim windows are screened by what Verschueren calls “knitted” bricks. “In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.”

Brick facade House BVA in Belgium by DMVA Architects

The facade of a house in Belgium consists of "knitted bricks."

“In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says architect Tom Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.”

Project 
House BVA
Architect 

For the street side, brown bricks were selected to match the roof tiles, presenting a monochrome look relieved only by the red door frame. Because of the couple’s low budget, the interior is plain and unadorned, with concrete floors and white walls, but a bright red glass hallway linking the street to the garden adds a warm, dramatic touch.

Red door House BVA in Belgium by DMVA Architects

For this street-side facade, seven tall, slim windows are screened by DMVA Architects calls “knitted” bricks. “In this part of Belgium, 90 percent of the houses are built with brick,” says lead architect Tom Verschueren. “It’s a classic material that we tried to use in House BVA in a totally different way.” Photo by Frederik Vercruysse.

“The garden is big and the family puts their bikes there, so they needed an access corridor,” explains Verschueren. “Building a wall seemed a pity. Red glass is a wall that’s not a wall, and it also adds atmosphere.”

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