You know you're off to a good start when a house is covered in a slope of grass. House Pibo features an upside-down layout dominated by naturally lit split levels, and a seasonal green roof. Ghent-based OYO architects designed this monolithic home, located in the Belgian village of Maldegem, for maximum privacy and minimal visual and environmental impact. And we think they achieved their goals.
The sloping green roof is planted with several species of flowering plants that change appearance throughout the year. The home’s facade is sheathed in a rubber membrane that waterproofs the interior and gives an opaque look to the exterior. A large protruding volume marks the main entrance and acts as a passage that leads below the surface of the ground. The only other visible volume is a large window that allows natural light to flood the dining area.
In order to bring more light into the interior and create a feeling of spaciousness, the architects decided to treat different rooms as split levels. They situated the bedrooms on the lower floor, while split-level floors above contain living areas. The soil keeps the bedrooms cool in the summer.
“Unlike most single family houses in Belgiumhttp://inhabitat.com/tag/belgium/, [we] started with the idea of positioning the living rooms on top of the bedrooms,” said the architects in a project description. “In a house composed of split-levels it was important to establish cross relations between the spaces and natural lighting conditions throughout.”
Natural materials were used throughout the interior, with a stone-clad fireplace that doubles as a barbecue accessible from a terrace connected to the living room and kitchen.
Photos by Thomas De Bruyne