The house stands on a plot that measures barely 3 metres wide and 20 metres deep. It stands adjacent to the two 19th century constructions by Victor Horta. Composed entirely of grey concrete blocks, the façade of Twaalfkameren is lodged between these grand buildings and a small labourer’s house on the other side. Whether in terms of materials, construction or spatiality, this design is a quest for minimum interventions with maximum return. The house is constructed entirely of unprocessed and relatively poor materials. The concrete blocks of the front façade not only recur in the rear façade, but also in the interior of the terraced house, namely in the two self-supporting walls (like the façades) that separate the stairwell from the living areas and bedrooms, and are perforated with the same block windows as the outer façades. It is especially the two common brick walls, painted white, that play a structural role: all floors and sloping roofs simply rest on these common walls, whose wooden beams have been left visible.
Owing to the plot’s narrowness and depth, the design was elaborated spatially in the longitudinal section: an entrance hall with bicycle storage, a cloakroom and toilet lead, via the staircase, to a dining area cum kitchen which extends into a sitting area that overlooks the garden. By raising the ceiling height of the dining room to 4.5 metres, a split level is created between the rooms at the street-side (a work area and a bathroom) and the two bedrooms facing the garden. Thanks to a set of window openings in the grey concrete-brick walls of the stairwell, unexpected views emerge. Natural light penetrates deep into the house thanks to two skylights, one above the staircase and the other between the dining and sitting areas.
Text provided by the architect