Leibal — Refuge


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Refuge is a minimalist architecture project located in Bonheiden, Belgium, designed by NWLND. Rooted within an existing homestead’s garden, the pavilion’s design is closely dictated by the terrain and environment that encase it, playing into the creation and positioning of the structure. Two significant geometric patterns were identified during the design process: the orthogonal order of the existing home and the distinct rotated boundary of the site. Leveraging these patterns, a dynamic landscape layout has been created, incorporating elements such as a vegetable garden, walking paths, a chicken coop, a patio, and a naturally filtered pond. This careful orchestration elicits a juxtaposition between the home and the surrounding natural world. The architectural interventions take inspiration from these contrasts, paying heed to the existing home’s context while aligning with its established form and materials – in particular, red brick. This distinct brick tone carries over into the pavilion’s concrete composition, bridging the aesthetic gap between the new structure and the existing one. Adopting a square footprint, the pavilion features several openings that enable access to and vistas of the core space. The inclusion of a curved cut-out in the roof ensures natural light penetration, while a glass wall demarcates the internal area from the outdoor environment. A parallel internal wall serves a dual purpose: housing a kitchen and concealing a bathroom and storage facilities. Light insulated retaining walls, constructed from repurposed formwork plates, are employed where finishes are required.

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