This center for assisted living is located in a clearing of a small forest in Zoersel, a village on the outskirts of the city of Antwerp (Belgium). Its irregularly sinuous floor plan follows the positions of the trees, in an endeavor to endow the building’s interior with beautiful views, and its facade clad with wooden boards is an at once pragmatic and poetic reflection of the surroundings.
These boards are made of Siberian larchwood, the already good resistance to humidity of which was improved upon by means of a thermohardening treatment, specifically through the superficial scorching of the pieces. Drawing inspiration from houses built by the architect Teronobu Fujimori, which in turn take from the carbonization techniques used in traditional Japanese construction, the thermohardening process involved putting the lumber in a special inert atmosphere chamber, with very little oxygen, at a temperature range of 240-260ºC and for periods of time ranging from 8 to 72 hours, depending on the particular species of wood, how it had been cut, and the special properties desired. The result is an altogether modified timber, charred, darker in color, less hygroscopic, and more naturally durable.
Huis aan’t laar / Centro de discapacitados Home for disabled people in Zoersel (Belgium).
Superficie construida Floor area
51N4E Partners / Johan Anrys, Freek Persyn, Peter Swinnen, www.51n4e.com
Karel Verstraeten, Jan Opdekamp, Aline Neirynck, Paul Steinbrück.
Consultor de estructuras Structural consultant
BAS / Dirk Jaspaert, www.basbvba.be; All-Ingineering, www.all-ingineering.be
Consultor de instalaciones MEP consultant
Contratista principal Main contractor
Menbo Bouwbedrijf NV, www.menbo.be
Fabricantes de madera Wood suppliers
Warener Baugesellschaft, www.wabau-waren.de