Canal House Humbeek | Studio Farris Architects


Release Time: June 17, 2022

Project name: Canal House Humbeek

Location: Humbeek (Belgium)

Architect Studio: Farris

Client: Private

Contractor: KLOBO


Schematic design start: Nov 2015

Construction completion: Feb  2020

Finishes and furniture completion: Jan 2022

Project data

lot size: 89 square meters

ground floor area: 73 square

meters upper floor area: 62 square meters


Facade: white bricks (Desimpel)

Windows: Black aluminium

Floors at upper level: wood

Floors at ground level: ceramic tiles


Koen Van Damme

Martino Pietropoli

Press office: Cultivar


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©Koen Van Damme

• The Canal House was designed by Studio Farris to overlook the Brussel-Scheldt Maritime canal in the Belgian town of Humbeek. This single-family residence successfully develops a series of spatial mediation devices between the indoor and outdoor environments.

• The volume of the Canal House respects the profile of the adjacent houses, but recedes to form an introverted façade that is articulated around a minimal courtyard, a sort of secret garden that offers a condition of peace and intimacy to the ground floor.

• With this project, the studio directed by Italian architect Giuseppe Farris confirms its ability to reflect on the subject of residential design by developing solutions that draw on the vast repertoire of modernity, reconfiguring it to meet the needs of contemporary living.

©Koen Van Damme

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 projectof this house draws upon an original spatial configuration based on the definition of a new relationship between the inside and outside.

©Koen Van Damme

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.

©Koen Van Damme

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.

©Koen Van Damme

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.It is a sort of “Japanese courtyard”, says Giuseppe.

©Koen Van Damme

step1 ©Studio Farris Architects

step2 ©Studio Farris Architects

step3 ©Studio Farris Architects

step4 ©Studio Farris Architects

step5 ©Studio Farris Architects

step6 ©Studio Farris Architects

site plan ©Studio Farris Architects

ground floor plan ©Studio Farris Architects

upper floor plan ©Studio Farris Architects

longitudinal section ©Studio Farris Architects

transverse section ©Studio Farris Architects

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