ASSE (BE) - In the context of sustainable construction, architects are turning more and more to textiles as an alternative for the traditional facade brick. The reasons are obvious: textiles are extremely light and consequently more flexible than traditional facade materials. They also make it possible to combine various transmission and aesthetic properties in a single material. BLAF Architecten developed an innovative textile skin for a private, 'passive' house.
The house's location – as close as possible to schools, work, leisure activities and public transport – was the first step in the sustainable approach. Next there was the internal layout which was designed to be flexible enough to allow for modifications by a possible subsequent occupant. Another deliberate choice relating to sustainable use of the space is the interactive play area between house and street which replaces the usual front garden.
The dwelling itself, built according to passive house design principles, consists of a solid base that is half dug into the existing slope, and a timber-frame superstructure. Below are the bedrooms, above the substantially glazed living space adjoining the back garden. The base provides the required thermal mass, the areas of glass in the upper section guarantee a high heat yield, while void areas and the open-plan layout ensure that the warmth circulates freely through the dwelling.