Serpentin 34 House In Ixelles, Belgium

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Anne Francis
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Serpentin 34 is a 4,240-square foot home in Ixelles, Belgium. It was completed in 2013 by a company called FORMa, and it provides simple and comfortable living arrangements. Its ground floor was designed to house the social spaces and facilities such as a garbage management system, an office and a patio.


The higher floors receive more natural light when compared to the lower ones and comprise the living rooms as well as the kitchen, the dining areas and the bedrooms. The kitchen flaunts modern appliances that can be used to prepare delicious meals and snacks, while the dining table placed in its vicinity provides enough seating for eight people.


The different levels of the Serpentin 34 house are connected with the help of a metal staircase that features seemingly floating steps. The residence is found in an urban context and boasts large windows that welcome natural light throughout.

From the architect:

It’s about making passive housing affordable, simple and enjoyable. A feasibility study showed that, given the high land prices, a second housing must be inserted to complete the financing of the building.

The project is based on an eco-nomy-logy: low territorial impact, densification in a neighborhood offering numerous assets in terms of mobility and proximity in a various urban tissue. The cramped parcel and the modest carrying capacity of the soil made us choose a light wooden structure.

The floor plates are carried by the sidewalls and one row of intermediate steel columns and beams, positioned in the length direction of the building. Working without structural inner walls will allow an easy adaptation an reconversion of the surfaces.

The ground floor is logically occupied by the public functions: communal spaces, garbage management, bicycles, DIY, an office to rent or a polyvalent space for the residents, lighted by a patio longing the south-oriented adjoining wall.

Two passive housings are located on the better lighted higher floors, ranked on each other following the profiles of the neighbor buildings, respecting their views and sun exposure. The living rooms are placed in order to enjoy the full width of the parcel, taking profit of the enlargement behind. The triplexes living room crosses the building and occupies a completely open space.

Architects: FORMa
Location: Serpentin Street 34, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium
Area: 394.0 sqm
Project Year: 2013
Photographs: Georges De Kinder
Stability: bureau d’études BDS
Acoustic: Cedia, Université de Liège

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