Project title: 3 patio houses

Recommending party
The project has been submitted by:

guerilla office architects i.c.w. hermans


Country: Belgium

City: Leuven


Designer or design team architects:

guerilla office architects i.c.w. hermans


Lot surface area: – m2

Total area of the project: – m2

Of which residential: – m2
Public/communal areas: – m2
Facilities for the public: – m2
Business/trade: – m2
Offices: – m2

Number of residential units: -4
Typology of users: families, students, old aged people, other

Construction costs (euro/square metre): –  €/m2

Work started on date:
Work completion date:



Description of the project:

The Burchtstraat has only attached houses on one side of the road.

The construction site has a view on Mount Caesar across the street : the former location of the castle of the Dukes of Brabant.

The street is a very busy and noisy transit road. The frontal façades face north and the street is dark and unpleasant. These conditions make living at ground level at the street side not very agreeable. The classical typology of the house in the row is therefore questioned.

In this case living could be a lot more fun in a quiet penthouse with a panoramic view on Mount Caesar at the front and on the river Dijle at the back.

The section of the house falls within the regulations that prescribe a main volume of maximum four levels over a depth of 13 meters and a ground floor extension.

Like the left neighbour, he building has a flat roof.

3 houses around 1 patio :

It’s a challenge to bring plenty of light and air into this envelope. To do this a central patio was introduced that marks the communal circulation.

The project consists of three volumes that are organized around this patio. A lifted long house on the street side is the first one. It’s a four-bedroom house with roof terrace on the third volume.

Behind this volume lies a low deep volume at ground level, just next to the patio with a two-bedroom house and garden. On top of the second volume is the third volume with a three-bedroom house and roof terrace.

Underneath the lifted volume is an open carport with room for one car and several bicycles. A concrete resting bench works as a separator of public and private space and turns the carport into a meeting point.  The bench prevents that a second car is placed and keeps the space open: it’s a social catalyst for street life.

The open space becomes an interesting prolongation of the public domain with daylight and bamboos on the other side.

Each house in this concept has a separate outdoor entrance and its own terrace. These are not apartments but real houses.

The introduction of the patio makes it possible to serve each house with a maximum of light and fresh air. Central in this light catcher stands a communal stairway. The central entrance makes an efficient use of space in the houses possible.

The patio is a social space where people meet each other, and creates an acoustic separation between the different living quarters and ventilation can be done trough the façade instead of using technical shafts.