House M

Philippe Vander Maren + Richard Venlet
Grez-Doiceau, Belgium

This collaboration between an architect and an artist, pays much attention to the elements of architecture and yet succeeds in avoiding its overstatement

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In Grez-Doiceau Philippe Vander Maren and Richard Venlet designed a house with a handful elements. Precise decisions, applied to a pragmatic spatial organization, result in an impressive complexity. House M is surrounded by nothing else than woods. Vander Maren and Venlet reconfigure modernist references and free the architecture of House M from the weight of iconic elements. If, for a moment, domestic living could be seen as a play and a house as its scenography.

Only five materials recurrently occur and take over different functions. Facades with glass-on-glass corners of the upper floor make the trees in the garden to a wallpaper for the interior, the brick facade becomes a carpet for the living room, even the roof outside, which welcomes upon arrival, offers a configuration made with circular volumes of skylights and shafts, completed with a slightly larger, low circle containing rain water: an invitation to the birds to still their thirst.

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