The residential building in Molenbeek by Els Claessens and Tanja Vandenbussche contains three interwoven homes in central Brussels. This project responds in an entirely individual way to the boundary between inside and outside. The homes enter into an unusual relationship with the narrow street. A succession of interlocking spaces, each with its own proportions and materials, creates views through as far as a distant glimpse of the rock garden at the back. Two cars can be parked in the space at the front, but its openness means that it barely resembles a standard carport. It is more like a covered front room, or a threshold between the town and the house. Behind this, the first concrete step forms a second threshold. This indicates the start of the house. From here, an open staircase rises on one side to the two uppermost homes, through which soft light descends. On the other side, people walk straight on through a half-open portal clad in wood. The layered transitions between inside and outside, in perfect balance as in a Japanese temple, are continued in the homes themselves: from front rooms to living rooms and half-enclosed outdoor rooms and terraces, to the more private bathrooms and bedrooms.
Author: Caroline Voet. This text has been published in the Architecture Review Flanders N°11. Embedded Architecture.