Martelaar is a minimalist residence located in Ghent, Belgium, designed by Machteld D’Hollander. The initiative sought to reconfigure the area through careful demolition, reinvigorating the space with vegetation, while mindfully preserving certain structural elements. The revitalization process led to the construction of two semi-transparent garden pavilions, creating a visually appealing interplay between built structures and natural environment. The layout seems to oscillate between house and garden, blurring the boundaries and resulting in what could be termed a “garden house.”

The private residence within this architectural scheme is cleverly linked to, yet distinctly separated from, an adjoining professional practice. The architects have used walls and pavilions to shape individual garden rooms, each possessing its unique ambiance. These spaces act as both a barrier and a window, generating a variety of views that cater to different preferences and functions. The design philosophy here seems to embrace a playful sense of mystery and discovery. Views are alternately opened and hidden, leading to an ongoing experience of “hide, seek, and play” that varies according to the observer’s position and purpose.

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