Some see restrictions as deal breaks but others see them as challenges that they need to overcome. When an area imposes a limit for the footprint that a house can have, that’s something an architect can work with. In fact, it can be the thing that sets in motion an amazing plan, being the catalyst for a unique design that wouldn’t have otherwise existed. We actually something specific in mind when we talk about these things: a residence called House Z-M which was built in 2013 by Dhoore Vanweer Architecten.

The design of the house is very well planned, down to the smallest detail
The residence sits in a wooded area, being surrounded by trees and vegetation
The floor plan is L-shaped and strategically placed so it frames the coutyard
A large section of the house has this mirrored facade finish which allows it to blend in more easily

The house is located in Belgium and offers a total of 410 square meters of living space even though the maximum allowed footprint in this particular wooden area is 250 square meters. Placed in a residential park, the house is surrounded by nature and other great structures. The architects wanted to allow the house to blend in so they used mirrored panels for some of the sections.

The interior spaces open onto a terrace which is then connected to the swimming pool
The transition between living spaces, terrace, pool and garden is seamless and nicely coordinated
Out on the terrace there’s a comfortable lounge area with a sectional and extra chairs and poufs
Also on the terrace there’s an al-fresco dining area by the pool

Still, the house is nowhere near conventional. Since the client was a butterfly collector, the architects managed to create something quite unique: a house that has a floor plan based on the morphology of a butterfly. This design goes something like this: the body and the two wings of the butterfly are represented on the ground floor in the form of a kitchen and dining area,  a lounge space and an office while the upper floor houses the sleeping area.

The glazed facade gently curves avoiding straight angles and lines
The view from the public spaces is pretty great and peaceful all year round
Sliding glass doors and walls ensure a smooth transition between the interior spaces and the open terrace
The dining area features a ong and white table placed parallel to the glass walls

There’s also another very interesting detail about the design of this house. The entire project is based on a grid size of 1,2 meters which means that every wall and every floor tile are aligned with the grid and that every height is at 60 cm and every width at 120 cm or a multiple of these numbers. You can’t really tell that without carefully analyzing the design of the house but it’s a quirky fact that makes this project stand out.

Dividers with built-in shelves separate the spaces on the ground floor
The kitchen is open, with a two-toned island facing the garden and the pool
In the living space, classical Eames lounge chairs complement a light-colored two-seater sofa
This is the owner’s butterfly collection which inspired the design of the house

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