In the dunes of Oostduinkerke-Bad on the Belgian coast, architect Koen Steenkiste built a house that immediately evokes the image of a boat.

Project details


Single-family house in the dunes, Oostduinkerke-Bad, Belgium


Koen Steenkiste, Koksijde


Owner and occupier

Roofing contractor

Dakwerken Dewulf-Treve, Merkem

Clay roof tiles used

Pottelberg Plain Tile 301 smooth, braised blue

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family hous in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

Single-family house in Oostduinkerke-Bad

An irregular shape

This resemblance was not deliberate but sprang from the irregular shape of the building plot. The location against the side of the dune also offered the opportunity of constructing a cellar with a garage. The location is ideal: only a walk away from the sea and Oostduinkerke-Bad, but still just outside the tourist hustle and bustle that afflicts the coast at certain times. The client wanted to make optimal use of the relatively restricted site. Because of its irregular shape, this exercise resulted in a ground plan that on closer look has something of the bow of a ship about it. In fact, the plan consists of two parts: a rectangle 7 metres wide, and an organic part that connects with it.

Creating free space

The shape of the roof, immediately recognisable as an upturned boot, is in fact also born out of circumstances. The client wanted to have three bedrooms and a spacious bathroom on the first floor, but that turned out to be no sinecure. A first floor was only allowed on the rectangular part of the ground floor, and in addition the cornice could not be lower than 3.5 metres. Consequently, the architect was unable to fit the extensive programme under an ordinary pitched roof. The only solution consisted of an arched roof, which did offer enough free space to accommodate all the facilities. It also meant that two terraces could be installed on the projecting organic part.

Clay roof tile chosen

At the client’s request, the arched roof was finished with clay roof tiles: Pottelberg Plain Tile 301 smooth braised blue. This was a maiden trip for the architect as well as for the roofer. Architect Steenkiste comments: “It was a great challenge, which was a technical and aesthetic success thanks to the support we received from the Koramic engineer."

Rich in contrast

The large round dormer window was covered with pre-patinated zinc because a covering with clay roof tiles was virtually impossible here. To give the whole building an optical unity, the bay on the garden side and the complete cornice were finished with the same zinc. The uniform colour of the first floor contrasts nicely with the façades of the ground floor, which are covered in sandy-coloured facing brick that blends well with the surrounding dunes.

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