An old industrial building in Ghent with massive shed roofs has been transformed into a modern residence that opens completely to the fresh air in pleasant weather. The converted warehouse by NU architectuuratelier of Belgium takes advantage of an ideal location perched atop historic buildings for a space that feels comfortable and private, but retains the character of its former life.
Upon passing through the gate, visitors enter a workshop space covered with the original shed roof of the warehouse, functioning as a park and play area as well as a space to build and create. Three shipping containers are set up within this space; one is used for storage while the other two are stacked to create a ‘bed and breakfast’ for guests. These two containers don’t just add extra space, they also stabilize the fragile old structure’s front facade.
The house itself is a volume conceived as a ‘transparent filter’ between the workshop space and an additional garden that’s open to the sky. When it’s nice out, the owners can open all of the exterior walls of the home to join the interior spaces with the exterior. Translucent green plastic canopies shade the garden area from the southern sun and link the sleeping spaces directly to the garden.
More from the architects
“Renovation of a forge to single family home with guest room, studio and gardens. On a unique location in the city of Ghent a single-family is realized within the walls of an old industrial building. The old brick forge and carpentry became the scene for the house as scaled room. Some shed roofs are retained, others are removed. Similarly, pieces of the concrete flooring are retained or removed. The house, a wood and steel framing with rational structure and readable use of material, cuts the plot in half. The result is a south facing, bar shaped volume which absorbs the confrontation between two complementary outdoor spaces: the walled garden and the workshop. If one goes through the gate, one enters a first room, a workshop space covered with the original shed roof.”
“This open space is both a park and play area for the residents and a workplace. In that room three containers are strategically set up. Out of economic necessity, these compact prefabricated steel structures are used as storage and entry perpendicular to the house, and as ‘Bed&Breakfast’, stacked above the entrance porch. This ‘B&B’ is created by two containers internally linked to become a very vertical residence. At the same time they are used to stabilize the fragile old and by heritage institutions protected front facade.The second outdoor space is formed by an enclosed rear garden, bounded by a space under a maintained shed roof. This space looks back at the house. The feeling, of the room as a shed without a roof, is made permanent at any point of the plot.”