A small residence is inserted with originality among the houses overlooking the Brussel-Scheldt Maritime canal that splits the small town of Humbeek, part of the municipality of Grimbergen, in the province of Flemish Brabant in Belgium. In emphasizing the relationship with the canal, the project
of this house draws upon an original spatial configuration based on the definition of a new relationship between the inside and outside.
Designed by Studio Farris, Humbeek Canal House was created to substitute a pre- existing building and makes the most of the available surface area by respectfully placing itself within the profile defined by the row of residential buildings facing the canal, complying to the surrounding gabled roofscape. But the elegant adaptation to the urban context is enriched by new solutions, which extend the potential of the lot and redefine the conditions of use of the house.
The other houses facing the canal do not exploit the presence of the waterway, denying any opportunity
to relate to both the public dimension and the view of outdoor space. The traditional layout of houses in fact has the living quarters on the ground floor, with high windows protected by curtains for privacy. Studio Farris then worked on the volume and distribution of space, emptying part of the original envelope, reversing the program by placing the living area upstairs and the sleeping areas on
the ground floor, working on a careful redefinition of the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.
If in the rear the house uses the full height allowed, it is on the front that the outline of the building is changed. The building recedes, resulting in an introverted facade that is organized around a new open space created by the volume subtraction. The project by Studio Farris thus determines an unexpected spatial layout consisting of an entrance courtyard on the ground floor, which acts as a filter between the street and the house, matched by a small garden at the back of the house.