Tichel parcel house, Ghent

Kavelwoning Tichel

The design is part of the ‘Kavel’ [parcel] project initiated by the city development company SoGent to help young families own a house in the city: a goal that many find increasingly hard to realise given the rapidly escalating prices in cities such as Ghent and Antwerp. De vylder vinck taillieu was admitted to this pool in 2009 on the basis that the practice would be allowed to realise up to four houses.

The Tichelrei project is located close to the city centre, on a wide street with minimal traffic. Kavel translates as ‘parcel’ and, in this case, the parcel was geometrically challenging: deep and tapering away from the street, it implied that the exterior of any house would be very limited towards the rear. The architects describe their approach as one of introducing the play of the right angle as a response to the geometry of the specific plot’.

The ‘play of the perpendicular’ can be read on every level since the back façades are in a vertical relationship with the neighbouring walls. They also jump back on every level, creating terraces for the upper floors.

Covering a total surface of 190 m2, the house communicates not only a considered functionality but also a degree of generosity. Plywood dominates the finishes: dark varnished birch on the floor and natural pine for the partition walls, which sometimes become bookshelves. All are executed with delightful precision. The brick sidewalls are painted white, providing a calm foil to the exposed crisscross of beams that extend throughout.

In this project, the SoGent objectives seem to have found their voice: an experiment for everyone involved, from which a house has emerged that boasts its own life, and one in which all choices seem evident and the life of the young family can expand.

Author: Asli çiçek. This text has been published in the Architecture Review Flanders N°11. Embedded Architecture.

Project details


single house


9000 Gent





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