Text: Hannelore Geeraerts Photography: Debbie De Brauwer
‘I wanted to design a villa in which living, working, and relaxation would flow seamlessly into one another,’ says architect Mark Van Acker. The result is the Van Acker Sissau villa, which tests the boundaries between internal and external spaces with its large open areas and many panes of glass. The design is characterized by the use of the interchange between transparent and opaque materials, and as such balances on the fine line between privacy and open space.
The Van Acker Sissau villa is situated on a corner plot in the middle of the sylvan Loppem area. The residence is typified by its L-shaped floor plan, which is the consequence of the optimum configuration of the ground-floor layout in relation to the sunlight and the view. The architect chose to orient the layout of the functional rooms towards the south and west as much as possible. At the interior surface of the L-shape, the residence is completely open towards the heart of the plot, the garden. In order to make the ground floor as transparent as possible on this side, Van Acker used large panes of glass. At the external side of the L-shape, a massive wall isolates the residence from the adjacent streets.
DESIGN The villa is divided into two storeys. The bedrooms, bathroom, and garage are all located on the ground floor of the north wing. The living space is on the ground floor of the east wing, and above this is an office area. However, this division in the layout does not create contrasting spaces: all the rooms have a large, open character, and flow seamlessly into one another. The organisation of the spaces does define the unusual shape and the rolling character of the roof, which seems to float and curve almost like an organic surface above the functional spaces. The entire villa creates a bright white frame lying like a wave on the landscape.
The excellent cooperation between the architect and Reynaers meant that nothing was sacrificed in terms of the design and creativity of the villa. In order to keep the view from the glass façades out onto the natural environment as unobstructed as possible, the architect decided to work with amongst other, the thermally insulated sliding system CP 155 and the CW 50 façade and roof system. Along with maximum ease of operation, these systems allow as much light as possible to enter and permit unlimited creative freedom.
DETAILS The choice of detailing for this residence was also of utmost importance in terms of creating a sustainable character. For reasons of energy-efficiency, the triple chamber system CS 86-HI was selected. The frame’s insulating strips achieve U-values of down to 1.2 W/m2K, making this one of the most energy-efficient systems in the entire Reynaers range. Due to the many continuous glass surfaces and the large open spaces without many interior walls or columns, it was decided to use a steel structure for a large part of the residence. This structure is constructed of a rhythmical pattern of fine columns and HEA beams, filled in with a wooden grid. The wooden structure is filled with cellulose chips resulting in the Van Acker Sissau villa benefiting from an E-level of E42.
The fact that advisors were involved during the design process means that the finished design exudes an all-inclusiveness. Various ways of thinking about form and construction have been integrated into an energy-efficient, ‘all-in-one’ villa where living, working, and relaxing flow into one another with the greatest of ease.
Architect: Mark Van Acker Fabricator: Lein Aluminium Reynaers systems: CW 50, CP 155 monorail, CS 77 (pivot door), CS 86 HI