At first sight, this traditional farmhouse as there are in the Flemish territory have some been thrown around. However, in a second reading, it becomes clear that there is more going on. A large square window light at the passersby. On the other hand, a horizontal window cut out over the entire facade of the largest shed. These new openings witness that there is tinkering with this solitary volume.
“An old woman from the neighborhood remembers how the farm looked out for renovations,” says Sigrid. “Sometimes they get off to us to say how surprised they are that has changed so little. The new farm is its still a familiar element in the landscape. Retaining as much as possible of the existing was a conscious choice. Bart came one evening with three models on the floor and soon there was consensus on one model, the concept that the original buildings should be preserved as much as possible. Subsequently, the draft was amended on some points, but the big line was turned off that night. ”
The farm was stripped of the koterij which was erected around buildings, but the original volume remains largely intact. Rough brick facades and angled beams are not considered as defects, but as details that give this architecture its identity. Existing windows are left behind stroke, new windows are aligned with the brick. The façade can be read as the development phases of this farm.
The cabinet is removed a book that falls open to a picture of four walls without a roof. An abstract ruin from where the volume more or less a property can be read. The ruin of the photo is the old farmhouse which, for the sake of stability, questionable construction physics and too low room was stripped down to its skeleton. The old facades served as fit for a new home. The low ceiling was raised so that an extra row of window openings brings light into the living room. “This photo was the starting point of the yard,” says Sigrid. “When we are with our family and friends were watching this in the typical Belgian rain and wind, the Apocalypse seemed near. However, we still saw the great potential of this place, even when the end of the process was still far away. ”
The current owners used to live 5km further. They had been spotted over the farm, but this turned out to be first sold. When she came back on the market in 2009, Sigrid and Carl were again attached to this old favorite. They were always aware of the major renovation that awaited them. A streamlined process than was necessary. The building permit was approved instantly, but was also documented in great detail, even down to the invoices from the veterinary practice. As a veterinarian you should cultivate such a designated zone homestead if it can be shown to be involved in agricultural activities.
The contractor for the implementation was a meticulous, cropped old man. He knew all the details of the home, up to the specific detail of the windows reverse rebates. Would normally be addressed first three of the four buildings, but it was decided during the implementation phase to also renovate the little old stables. “The cooperation was in fact excellent,” Sigrid continues, “the contractor had pleasure to work together with our project.”
The building is encased in agriculture, a landscape that moves with the seasons. High corn, low wheat and fallow land alternate. “Sometimes we come home and we get a completely different view on the environment,” says Carl. The connection with the previous function is not lost. In the small stables are just as earlier still chickens, held in the garden sheep back. This garden is laid across a slope so the water would not run into the building, but otherwise the landscape is left as it could also be found for the renovation. In the same line has no ornamental front, but a productive landscape where pear trees fruit can be picked. The gate through which the tractors used within reason also still out on the street.
The view of the context is important for a building that has derived its existence to this immediate area. New openings offer distant views of the countryside. In an existing rear door is provided with a window opening in order to safeguard a view of an old tree. Especially between square farms in the area this farm with its open side facing the street rather atypical. The closing of this side to create a full-fledged farmstead was not only typological relevance, but the house also brings together into one solitary whole. Like an island in a landscape. A landscape permanently altered by the passing of the seasons.
FIRE, CHURCH, chapels
The church in the village, the fire in the middle of the house. How quickly times change, the main targets of the living remain immutable. Also in this house are the basic things central. “The location of Pepingen is important, according to Bart Lens,” the church is heard into the house. “The house is higher than the center and acts as it were as an observation post to the village. The church tower is visible from several rooms on different levels. The village is always near.
The middle of the house has a stove inserted atop a floating sofa that was deposited in concrete. A visual axis that ends in the fire highlights the central position. The system is based on an Austrian principle, a small stove has a greater impact because it heats a steel wall which usually has a seat. With a very simple element that heats the house and she gets a centerpiece.
In the shed at the street side are carved inside three chapels in the masonry. In these niches grain was laid to protect a good harvest. The chapels were kept as they are encountered. Such elements to tell a story that is incorporated into the new home. Preserving the authenticity of architecture is not just about the mere preservation of what has been built, but also about the original idea of living. The connection with the environment, the focus on the fire and the preservation of traditional elements and use makes this switching volumes to a special place to live.
Cooking with ingredients grown locally, building with materials produced locally. There is a new tradition to work with the things we find around us. The swampy clay of the Flemish interior was mainly produced brick. This brick was then and still is now the unifying aspect of the farm, the switches and new parts of the same rank. The brick was baked in the fields nearby, was also used for the new garden wall. This cuts the landscape, so that the road with passing cars is not visible, but the vista is well preserved over the fields.
In addition to the plaque also determine the rooftops the monumentality of this farm. Light entry into the big barn at the front had to happen without refute the monumental volume of dividing without the roof. What normally would sit skylights are therefore placed glass tiles.
The other roofs are some dakpatios removed to bring light inside or if additional space next to a bedroom. “Skylights provide would not be fair” emphasizes Bart, “these were once used to lift things through a pulley, which now was not the intention.” By having three rooms open onto a rooftop patio functionality is optimally used.
The renovation was approaching an authentic fair manner. The farm is conceptualized largely as it was before. Still dressed in brick and tiles and the kitchen back to its original position. To comfort and functionality completely changed, but basically still the same.