Terca Metropolis Aula Red Eco-brick, Authentica Red, Koramic Datura Anthracite matt
A modern interpretation of a rural idyll
A restored farmhouse and gatehouse with a new look: A new building project with a community garden and historical flair was constructed in Belgium using a former farm with a listed historical brick house.
Living with bricks, green areas, history
It was a typical farmhouse of which there are many in the Belgian region of Hespengau: In the town centre of the small town of Sint-Truiden, there was a brick house with a striking gatehouse listed as a historical monument. This construction was to be reused in a residential housing project, combining modern living standards with references to history.
The architect Sophie Helaers was in charge of planning: “In collaboration with the town of Sint-Truiden, we came up with the idea to use the layout of the former farmhouse as the basis for the building project.” At the site of the former farm, 18 residential buildings were constructed, arranged in a square around the central, semi-private open area. The gatehouse near the road was renovated in accordance with its protected status and divided into two housing units.
Rich contrasts in shape and colour
The residential buildings have no frills and follow a strictly geometrical line around the central garden. The main entrances of the building open on the courtyard, creating a sense of community in the park and garden areas.
For the façades, the architects chose Terca Metropolis Aula Red Eco-brick, which reflects the traditional architectural style. In the designs, the bricks were laid matte, in smooth or rough planes, which gives the façade a variegated, natural look. Eco-bricks are 5 cm narrower, which means they are more climate-friendly and the customer also gains more living space.
For the roofs, the architects wanted a darker contrast: The matte clay roofing tile Koramic Datura in anthracite reflects almost no light, thus allowing the roof to fade elegantly into the background. The combination of the roofing tile and façade bricks give the complex a modern appearance, while still reflecting the style of the regional traditional farmyards with their brick look.
The garden with its winding paths and curving shapes contrasts with the rigid arrangement of the buildings. Large trees create shade and give the open space the feel of a park. Here the architects used the paving brick Authentica Rood, a low-maintenance and durable paving brick in slightly varying reddish-brown tones. This revisits the slightly matte and nuanced image of the façade
Urban living in the country
After their inauguration, the compact residential buildings attracted mainly young families and older people. A modern rent-to-buy arrangement enables the residents to first rent the residential units and then after various years to acquire them for the remaining amount. With this method, the former farmhouse was able to embody the most modern living standards without losing its historical reference point.