Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert

BRAEM HOUSE

Machteld D'Hollander

PHOTOGRAPHS
Stijn Bollaert

CATAGORY
Houses, Renovation

MANUFACTURERS
Fermacell, Multiplex

DESIGN
Machteld D'hollander

PROJECT EXECUTION
Machteld D'hollander

COORDINATION
Machteld D'hollander

LOCATION
Wachtebeke, Belgium

AREA
125 m²

YEAR
2020

Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert

The transformation of a small, dark laborer’s house into a contemporary family house.

Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert

The client, a preschool teacher, and her son stressed the importance of an open house with a lot of light.They also desired a ‘garden room’, a place to optimal enjoy the green from the long but narrow garden. All this had to be performed with a limited budget.

The ramshackle annex is torn down but returns as a light wooden support structure that cantilevers to form two ‘bay windows’.

Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert

The whole is wrapped by a wooden window assembly. The wooden structure determines the interior.

Everything – functional or esthetical – is born from it: a rack dividing two spaces, a bench, the kitchen furniture, or the wall pattern.

Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert

The high windows invite the light into the house as a contemporary version of the ‘Flemish veranda’, the perfect way to enjoy the outdoor indoors.

Its articulation with the sharp indentation cuts it loose from the main house and transforms the annex into the desired garden room. The charm of the original interior with triangular indentations reappears as a zigzagging wall of fermacell and multiplex.

Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert

The structural steel beams with their red-brown color contrast with the soft colors of the other materials, defining the different spaces without interfering with light and sight.

The use of raw materials gives a double meaning to the phrase ‘the worker has left the building’.

Attention to detail like copper grips and warm materials like the cement tiles ensures all visitors will be assured he didn’t leave too early. Integration and transformation of structural elements into interior elements made it possible to reduce the number of materials used, thus allowing for a sustainable and budget-friendly renovation.

Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert
Braem House
© Stijn Bollaert


Braem House
Section 1-1
Braem House
Section 2-2


Braem House
Site Plan
Braem House
Ground Floor Plan
Braem House
First Floor Plan
Braem House
Isometric View