WoWest – Wonen in Westmeers
The Westmeers House was my second design. The assignment was called WoWest – Wonen in Westmeers (which literally translates to LiWest – Living in Westmeers). The location of this assignment was assigned by the lectures. The students were divided into groups of three, and each member had to design one of the three lots. I ended up getting the second lot, which meant the one in the middle.
The design had to cover all essential functions for a four-person household; a living room, a kitchen, a dining area for six people, an entrance hall with a separate toilet, a multi-functional room (e.g. workplace, hobby-room, etc.), two bedrooms, a bathroom, technical rooms, a storage room that can fit two bikes and laundry facilities, a rooftop terrace and a green roof. The building was not allowed to exceed a floor space higher than 160 square meters (spread on three floors), and the buildable area was six and a half meters wide and 14 meters deep.
I started by scouting the location and its surroundings. Westmeers is a mostly residential area with a few cafes and restaurants scattered around the neighborhood. The buildings site itself is quiet, in close proximity to the station and across the King Albert I Park, only separated by a small canal, the Capucijnenrij. The houses around it are diverse, not only in style but also in size and height.
As with my first design of the Dijver House, I divided the lot into three areas; a left, center, and right part. At ground level, the entrance hall, the toilet, and the storage room take up the left part. The multi-functional room (in this case a workplace) is located in the center and shares its space with the staircase and a patio that takes up the upper half. This patio has a small storage room hidden under the stairs to the living room, which is only accessible from the outside. On the right side are the kitchen and the dining area with access to the private garden. All three parts are connected by a hallway which is equipped with several closets, adding additional storage possibilities. The entire ground floor is public or semi-public.
The first floor is accessible by two stairways, depending on which part of the house you need to be in. The private and public parts are entirely disconnected from each other, guaranteeing the highest level of privacy within your household. Thanks to an open space and the glass-covered outside walls, the living room, located above the kitchen on the right side of the building, enjoys the view of the King Albert I park and of the dining area beneath it, creating a connection between the two rooms and the private garden.
The first bedroom is located on the left part of the house. The room with its slender floor-to-ceiling windows takes up the entire street side which, considering the low amount of car traffic, shouldn’t cause any problems in regards to noise or emissions of pollutants. This floor, like any floor in the house, has a separate toilet. The central part of this floor is taken up by the bathroom and the extension of the patio.
The left side of the second floor has basically the same layout as the one on the first floor. The central part is once again shared by the patio and the staircase. A small technical room takes up the space between the stairs and the rooftop terrace. Views from the rooftop terrace include the King Albert I Park and the Concertgebouw by Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem.
The private garden, with a pond and a slightly elevated terrace, also grants access to the canal.