“Patient road to architecture” (Marc Dubois)
“For over ten years, Steven Vanden Borre operates at various levels of the design, exhibition concepts to large industrial projects. With a great diversity must always ask ourselves what concept can be developed combined with the desire of the client and the specificity of the construction site. Add to this the many preconditions that an architect must take into account. The right balance between a strong concept and a viable solution, where Steven Vanden Borre seeking.
He holds a fascination for the right of buildings. His admiration for contemporary Swiss architecture is expressed not only by the many study but also in guiding his practice. It is an attitude to consider the building as a very specific activity that requires a lot of energy to get to that end result. A building devise a clear structure where the tactility of materials, proportions and a crystal clear organization of paramount importance. Is it now to homes or offices, it comes to places where people stay, whether it is permanent.
A building that Vande Borre in the interest came, the local youth in Aalbeke / Rollegem. Here he combines a rigid structure with a facade consisting of randomly arranged wooden planks. He refers to the sculptures of Kawamata, the Japanese artist who made an unforgettable temporary intervention in 1989 in the Beguine Kortrijk. Second, the choice also puts an association with the camp where the first timber constructions are made.
Designing is not always add something, it can also eliminate to create new opportunities. The conversion of an enclosed building in the Leiestraat in Kortrijk shows this angle. What was once a series of dark places he transformed by creating a courtyard. It is not just a solution to the daylight, he gave the city a semi-public space where it is pleasant in the summer to be. In this manner, a conversion even with a urban intervention positive effects.
In a world crying profusely for flashy images is not easy to choose a vocabulary that aims precisely the opposite. The austerity of the form is not dictated solely by the limited budgets, but also to the result of that which refers to the basic form. The house down with a restaurant located near the Vlasmarkt in Kortrijk this is exemplary. One sees that the new building, but many of the façade will hardly attract attention.
Illustrative of the “chosen restraint” is the small workshop which was built in a small rural house. The volumetric of the existing house is not experienced as an obstacle, it is just the starting point for a new building. The large window in the roof with northern orientation gives plenty of smooth daylight into the interior. The two windows in the side with the big frame there to frame the landscape from the interior. As the antithesis of the large skylight, there is the window to the rear, this time directed to the fields. Through the roof profile emerged in the interior divided zones with its own atmosphere. It is an extremely modest project optimally knows how to use the site. It is through this approach Vanden Borre shows that in addition to technical abilities a feel for the site is crucial. Be open to understand the questions of the client and simultaneously the potential of the place.
This attitude is also present in the ‘Pool House’ project near Kortrijk. With a great mastery he knows how to respond to the specific demand of the customer as to the location, orientation and views. Through a glazed wall of the garage, the cars are visible, beautiful objects become part of the story. The control of the volumetric and the use of concrete in order to achieve a whole does not result in a cooling end result. The wooden trellis of the garage gives it a balance in the use of materials.
The trail Steven Vanden Borre has come already shows his drive to work out a concept as clear as possible, combined with a multitude of elements that shape the design. He chooses an architecture of modesty, not the grand gesture that demands attention. It is not a plea for an architecture with a “minimal” appearance, it is about what name the Swiss with the word “Baukunst”, the business line to combine materials to space. This is more than design, the aim is to bundle together a great complexity in an obvious appearance.”
Marc Dubois / February 2011 – See more at: Leading Interior Designers