Saturday, August 17, 2013

A-frame extension

Front facade.
Adding 290 square feet to this already small (just 566 square feet) black A-frame in Brecht, Belgium, was all the local building ordinances allowed, but the architects at dmvA found that a single wing extended out to the side gave resident Rini van Beek all the storage and living space that she needs.

Photo credits: Frederik Vercruysse.

The “A” frame house has a long and arguably problematic tradition in timber construction. Whilst it is simple to design and build, the problem is that because the walls slope inwards, the usable area is greatly reduced, making the form fairly inefficient and the space oppressive to inhabit. Extending the house is however easy, as one can simply add another bay extruding the form lengthways.
But dmva did rather better than that when designing this tiny 29 meter square extension.
By extending to the side, the new space created has the inverse feeling of the “A” frame in that the wall of the extension leans outwards. This enables all the floor area to be used, and gives the impression that the new room is actually bigger than it is. The architects have reinforced this illusion by creating a white space with fully glazed side walls that give the feeling of sitting in the forest itself.

Van Beek’s extra space is home to her office. She works on a Tense table by Piergiorgio and Michele Cazzaniga and Flow chairs by Jean Marie Massaud, both for MDF Italia.

In the living area, a Tufty-Time sofa by Patricia Urquiola for B&B Italia, a Soft Grid blanket by Established & Sons, and a wood-burning stove by Stûv keep her comfortable.

The original building’s structural framework is a series of sloping studs; Verschueren left these intact on the side of the house to be enlarged, matching them to new vertical studs in the frame constructed for the extension.

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