The unique challenge of designing on a site with a 300 year old Beech tree was something Govaert-Vanhoutte Architects were up for. Their style, reminiscent of Mies Van Der Rohe's post-war modern minimalism with the use of glass and its transparency, seems perfect to bring the experience of the landscape, the context and its history into this hotel with 4 suites in Diksmuide, Belgium.
To prevent as little disruption as possible to the 300 year old monument and its landscape, Hotel Notarishuys was erected 50cm recessed from the ground level. The minimalist architecture allows the exterior to become part of the interior, and the building disappears in its understated demeanor around the tree. As described by the architects:
The presence of the building is reduced and merely defines spaces in terms of: in and out, in front of a wall, between a wall and glass, on one side of the inner (outer) space or the other, etc.
As an extension of an existing restaurant, I love the idea that this hotel manages to maintain its privacy without being secluded. The concrete interiors and homogenous colors of the suites create a calm, reflective presence to be under the Beech tree without being disruptive, existing in harmony with the surroundings.
Photography by Martine Neirynck.