Boxy Kitchen Pavilion (2003) by Maarten Van Severen

Boxy Kitchen Pavilion (2003) by Maarten Van Severen located in Deurle, Belgium | The Hardt


Boxy Kitchen Pavilion (2003) by Maarten Van Severen located in Deurle, Belgium. In 2000, the residents of a nineteenth-century villa with beautiful sight axes and an original interior in Deurle, Maarten Van Severen, asked for an upgrade of their home. With a few accurately balanced interventions the designer picked up the kitchen, work, and living space. Two new windows in the living room also marked his intervention on the outside. They gave the villa a facelift that came across as radical yet integrated.



Shortly after the completion of this work, the client asked Van Severen to build a new pavilion on the same plot. The building had to be able to combine work, receive and live. Not only would the new pavilion accommodate the activities of a catering service – from preparation to administration – the co-owner also had to stay overnight. Exactly in that order, the different functional spaces follow up within the new volume. Via a service road serving the site on the west side, products are delivered to the frontal façade that is furthest away from the villa. There, bulky doors provide direct access to the cold store. On the inside, the ingredients find their way via the cold store to the kitchen.




Personnel is coming and going, smells and noises fill the room. Behind the kitchen is the reception table, where it is tasted and served. In the same room, someone is working at a desk. Between table and desk grows, the trunk enclosed by a glass tube, an oak. Then follows the living space of the apartment, which is located at the head of the pavilion and therefore has glass walls on two sides. Views in all directions determine the experience value of the entire interior. In the view of the longitudinal axis, the successive functions join together as spatial sequences. Sliding and rotating panels that are sometimes reflective, sometimes translucent, sometimes painted, support this sequence and filter or block the transparency. The views transverse to the longitudinal axis are directed through the interior to the garden. There is the low line of sight from the bath incorporated in the floor. Those who sit in it can look straight through the fireplace to the garden. Van Severen built the pavilion along the southern border of the plot so that the new building does not obstruct the view through the large window in the side wall of the villa. The elongated beam is directed towards the garden as a transparent volume, while on the south-facing rear the roof covering – in silver-colored PVC skin – flows seamlessly into the façade. At the explicit request of the clients, the construction took place with great respect for the environment. No tree grubbed: the oak that was within the expanded contours was incorporated into the whole. That decision determined for a large part the technical approach. To provide the roots of the oak with air and moisture, it was founded on piles. The slope of the site remained unaffected so that the floor slab seems to float above it. A steel structure supports the elongated volume. The shortest side of it is covered in two unequal phases, resulting in two zones on the longitudinal axis.



Along the closed southern façade are the entrances and smaller service spaces – library, bathroom, hall, cloakroom, stairway zones. The large functional spaces – kitchen, dining room, office, living space – are located on the northern façade. Here, in order not to obstruct the view of the garden, the glass façade was kept as open as possible. The steel grid also determined the window rhythm. The profiles of the window frames were kept as slim as possible so as not to impede the view. This effect, plus the limited thickness of the floor and ceiling package at the windows, creates a lightness that gives the building the status of an object. From the terrace on the south side of the villa, the connection with the pavilion becomes clear: the story that Van Severen started with the large, accurately proportioned steel windows in the rear façade of the villa will be fully rounded off in the garden pavilion. Old and new play adequately and without scruples


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Boxy Kitchen Pavilion (2003) by Maarten Van Severen Maarten Van Severen belgium

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