January 2021

Rag Doll, BE

In this neighbourhood, homeowners like to give their homes a name. The name of this house was “Rag Doll”. A rag doll is a stuffed doll, made from different incoherent pieces of material and parts, forming a coherent ensemble. The house became just that.

Cottages, farms, contemporary minimalist houses, castles. It was difficult for these customers, not only to find a suitable building or site, but also to find the suitable architects. Do they want a modern home, or something classic, and where? In the city? In the countryside? Everything was on the table. This process became the core of the story. A print-out of the duality and doubts of the clients. The human context.

The process is unexpectedly rational. The client definitely wanted a large basement. The existing house is registered and protected, so demolition was impossible. The construction of the cellar meant that the whole house had to be braced, at a certain point floating in the air on tiny micro poles. The whole house was thus cut in half. This formed a perfect basis for the design: The top of the house remained in its exact condition while the ground level became a fully transparent sophisticated ‘glass house'.

This transparent ground floor is subordinate to the cottage above, but there is clear interaction between old and new. It is actually a nice contrast. The fully glazed ground floor and the protected cottage above it. A striking expression of duality that we found in the clients themselves. And they get: the city and the countryside, renovation and new construction, cottage and minimalism, this architect and that architect.

Architecture: Delmulle Delmulle Architecten

Photography: René de Wit

Sales Partner: FMP+