Belgian studio Atelier Tom Vanhee upgraded a former brick farmhouse into a contemporary low-energy home without comprising the building’s historic integrity. Topped with a steep roof (commonly seen in the Belgian countryside), the renovated home retains the original building’s form with the addition of a pair of gabled extensions. In addition to its contemporary makeover, the house, named the Aartrijke Property after the nearby village, boasts a variety of new energy-efficient systems including a solar array and underfloor heating.
The architects preserved the brick from the original farmhouse, where it can be seen in both the facade and interior, however the two stepped additions are clad in timber for a contemporary touch. “Old and new work remain visible,” said architect Tom Vanhee, according to Dezeen. “The new volumes are clad in wood, and the old brick exterior can be seen inside the entrance.” The original building and the extensions are united under a pre-weathered zinc roof.
The original brick structure comprises the main living spaces, including an open-plan living room, kitchen, and dining area in a spacious double-height room, as well as four bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper level. The smaller timber-clad additions house the entryway, hallways, storage, utility spaces, and a garage. White walls and surfaces dominate the minimally but stylishly decorated interior and are broken up by remnants of salvaged brick and timber beams. Large windows punctuate all three interconnected structures, filling the home with natural light and framing views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition to expanding the building footprint and updating the appearance, the architects added energy-efficient features. The air-source heat pump was installed to warm water and power underfloor heating. Solar energy satisfies the bulk of the home’s electricity needs. The windows and insulation are constructed for airtightness.
Images via Atelier Tom Vanhee