• 07.07.11

A House That’s Business In Front, A Party In Back

A house that looks like two wildly different buildings in one is an elegant solution to a classic architectural problem.

The House In The Outskirts Of Brussels by Belgian architects Samyn and Partners is like two houses in one. On one side, you’ve got exotic foliage sprouting wildly off a curving facade; on the other, a wall of flat, symmetrical windows that could pass for the front of an office building. We like to think of the place as the architectural equivalent of a mullet.


We mean that as a compliment! Especially since the look serves an actual purpose, shielding the house from prying eyes, without making the place feel like a bunker. The plants shroud the building in a veil of leafy privacy on the north, south, and east sides, where neighbors abound. Then, to the west, which looks out onto extensive private grounds, the architects built floor-to-ceiling glass, ensuring that the residents — a cinematographer and his family — can soak up plenty of natural light.

It’s an elegant solution to a classic problem in residential architecture. Maybe it’s high time mullets make a comeback.

[Images courtesy of Samyn and Partners]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.