With a particular predilection for the modernist style, Massimo Pignanelli found the perfect house for his young family in Hasselt, Belgium. The single-family house right outside the city centre of Hasselt was built in the early sixties in a structure of concrete beams and columns filled with non-bearing wall elements. This constructive principle grants the house a sleek, sober and balanced look. The balanced architectural concept needed to be refreshed to contemporary standards, though. The characteristic construction was kept during the renovation by UAU collectiv which transformed both the existing property and the new spaces together into a consistent whole.
Following the program of demands, an extension was created to the building which is fully in function of multipurpose rooms for the young family and the demand for a practice area. The embedding of the house in the surrounding green is emphasised because the extension is immersed in the landscape. The large patio here forms the connecting element towards the garden and ensures that new and old are disconnected. Together with the vide in the entrance hall, an airy house is created with a lot of light and view of the surrounding green. The green character of the environment with a unique view therefore provided the incentive to organise the living area on the upper floor. The versatile character of the practice area in the basement is also done full justice because of the vide as a connection with the garden.
The original and iconic vertical sectioning was respected by designing the extension under the level of the existing concrete framework of the upper floor. Inside the framework an ingenious filling is realised with alternating slanted, deeper and flush planes. Round lines subtly appear in the façade and later also in the various details in-house. The whitewashed brick outer walls combined with black windows and doors create tranquillity and accentuate timelessness. The combination of Carrara Statuario marble, white concrete floors and white walls continues the calm atmosphere inside throughout the house. The contrasting black Marmo Nero Marquino creates a sober look. The characteristic house got an upgrade, as it were, to modern comfort and this, of course, with respect for the original concept.
Design and info © UAU collectiv
Images © Philippe van Gelooven