1975 Born in Tournai, Belgium
2001 Graduated with a degree in architecture from the Cooper Union in New York, with an
MSc in Adaptive
2008 With an MSc in adaptive architecture from the Barlett in London
2012 Established Studio Double (o) studio
2015 Received the Best Residential Future Award from the Architectural Review/MIPIM
2019 With a PhD from RMIT in Melbourne
The detailing strategy for Casa Trevo was to erase any presence of details or visual breaks which could distract from the perception of a holistic monolith. To render the spatial experience and scalar concept active in the house, an important detailing consideration was to retain the reading of the overall built mass. A little visual interference as possible had to be sustained in order to avoid the breaking down of volumes into disparate planes and surfaces. A cast-in-situ concrete structure is graded by the quality of its exposed concrete. A close scrutiny to formwork design and its proper implementation was essential in the control of its concrete surfaces. This required placing attention, effort and resources on the temporary elements; that is on the formwork itself which will eventually vanish while still leaving a trace. Where these traces are located vis-à-vis one another becomes crucial if an ambiguity of scales based on continuity and material fluidity between elements had to remain operative in perceiving the mass of the house as one singular entity.
The provision of blank canvases inside the elemental patios makes room for something else more intricate to occur at a detail scale. Progressively folding in and out of the wall thickness of the patios, and calibrated to the specific lighting context, concrete corrugations are made into devices that delay the passage of time through a game of light and shadow. This is where a shift from material to spatial responsiveness is considered most acute in the project. First, these fluctuating shadow lines are extending the vertical reading of the hollow shafts, accentuating a feeling of vertigo and a perception of monumentality. Second, their gradual incisiveness pushes the subject away from the patio’s inner surface, creating a peculiar sense of resistance within the space of the shaft; a form of pressured space, rendered by void and matter channeling in the mass of the wall and out of the space of the patio. Above all, the physical articulation of these surfaces manifests a life of their own in tune with its environment as though existing before inhabitation; a time instrument prolonging the autonomy of the project.