50 shades of wood

50 shades of wood

Architect
Declerck-Daels, Architecten
Location
Bruges, Belgium
Category
Private Houses
Tim Van de Velde

50 shades of wood

Declerck-Daels, Architecten as Architects

It’s fun to go to the dentist. Mostly you don’t expect a dental practice to be warm and cosy. But that’s exactly what Declerck-Daels, Architecten concieved for this small building in Bruges. Clearly this client didn’t want a clean medical room. The former practice was installed in the garage, next to the house. The front yard seemed the ideal place to build a new volume. A small infill, rather than building on a new parcel. The new construction doesn’t hide the house behind. The higher part is just a stretch of the right neighbours’ volume. And the lower part ensures that the sun can reach the front façade of the house. Declerck-Daels chose a compact and contrasting volume, using other materials, creating another ambiance, with another approach of light.


On a rectangular concrete plate separated from the house they conceived a wooden sculpture. The façade and the sloping roof are clad with paddouck timber. The same wood as for the windows. To expose the structure and the honest materials, the architect payed a lot of attention to the numerous details, counting on the craftsmanship of all the builders. All materials play a key role. Wood is a warm, soft and tactile element, and is found in all shades : wooden beams, cladding, windows, stairs, ceiling and fixed furniture. It is combined with exposed concrete, calcium silicate units and frivolous colors. There's nothing to hide ... It forms one strong unity.


The architect focused on the atmosphere and comfort of both patient and dentist. There’s an abundance of light. The entrance and waiting area, secretariat and lab form the core of the project. Through the oversized skylight you can experience the wooden facade. The two practice rooms have large windows. Patients are distracted by the clouds and the birds seen through the skylights above the dental chairs. The playful print on the windows form a fine filter. Also on the window of the multipurpose room (rest, meeting, lunch, storage, care) at lev +1. This space opens to the street. Here you can feel the volumetry. The small plantation, and the installation of a green roof are essential. The bush forms a barrier between living and working. This zone is semi-private.


There is a strong relation between old and new, with nice views on the classic façade, on the wooden sloping roof, on the green roof, etc … The use of green roof, the high insulation and the low energy consumption contribute to the sustainability of this ecological building. The project is the result of a strong symbiosis between architecture, interior design, structural engineering, technical engineering (quite complex in a dental office), lanscaping and decoration. Padded out with playful accents. It is gracious, warm and welcoming. It’s an original approach of a dental practice. It emphasizes on craftmanship of the designers and the builders. It’s fun indeed to go to the dentist.


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