"The clients asked for a ‘different-looking’ home," says Helder. "They also asked for a loft-style interior." To fulfill the first requirement, the architects opted for a perforated and expanded aluminum facade. Enticingly tactile, it attracts attention, while screening much of the interior from view.
Inside, a spacious, minimalistic interior fulfills the second request. It also contrasts with the more flamboyant exterior, giving the house a split personality. Outside, the facade is rendered even more unique thanks to a special metallic powder coating on the aluminum that changes color, from gray to blue, according to changing light conditions from the sun.
But isn’t overheating a problem? "No," says Helder. "There’s a gap of ten-centimeters between the aluminum and a waterproof foil layer beneath, which ventilates hot air away from the house." He adds: "We had to do lots of research for this project—a facade like this hadn’t been done in the Netherlands before."
Amsterdam-based contributing editor Jane Szita took the train to Ghent–three hours away, but a very different Franco-Flemish culture. While touring Van Everbroeck's house, she took time to revisit Jan van Eyck's 15th-century painted church altarpiece. "Flemish painters' works have a depth of color artists had never achieved before," says Szita. "Ghent was the perfect place for an assignment; one could argue that the city was the birthplace of the modern color palette."