This house near Brussels by architects Samyn and Partners has a glass wall at the front and a plant-covered wall by French botanical artist Patrick Blanc at the back.
Blanc, who is widely regarded as the pioneer of the green wall, created the flourishing facade and roof from a selection of exotic plants.
Completed in 2007, the four-storey house is both a home and workplace for a cinematographer and his family.
A deep furrow circling the house provides a glimpse down to another row of windows, revealing the basement studios below.
The fully glazed west elevation exposes the interiors of the ground, first and second floors, but can be screened by a wall of translucent curtains.
On the ground floor, partitions that separate the kitchen, hallway and family room were once the exterior walls of a single-storey house incorporated into the design.
Photography is by Marie-Françoise Plissart.
More information is provided by the architect:
This house for an artist includes the street level of an existing small house. It now houses the entry hall, a family room and a kitchen; the living-room and the stairway are in the extension to the building.
The second floor includes the master bedroom with its bathroom, as well as five children’s rooms and sanitary installations. They are equipped with a mezzanine protected by textile netting that will lead to the glassed-wall facade.
The house presents curved and vegetalised facades that are very private and closed to the neighbours to the north, the east and the south. In contrast, the west facade is entirely glass-walled as if it were one huge partitioned window.
It is planned that Immense translucid white polyester curtains in widths of 1.6 m suspended from the top of the structure to the ground floor would run along this great « window » to ensure shade in the summer months.
Initially conceived as a wall of ivy with a patinated copper roof, the vegetalised facade is finally composed of a selection of exotic plants chosen by the botanical artist Patrick Blanc, and extends to cover the roof.
We had to design the structure, the insulation, and the water-tightness of the envelope and resolve the building physics issues in order to receive the necessary support systems, irrigation and fertilisation systems for the plants that are set into a felt support stapled to rigid PVC panels.
600 m², Nov. 1999 – June 2007; (01/390)
Structural engineering, in collaboration with Sagec.
Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing Engineering, in collaboration with FTI.
Construction site management.