A+ 296: Small Escapes

Lisa De Visscher (Ed.)

CIAUD/ICASD Information Centre for Architecture, Urbanism and Design, 2022


A hut in a tree, a camp behind the sofa, a tent in the garden: every child escapes from the world while playing to create a new universe in a small, hidden place. The lack of space and attributes is the richness that feeds the imagination. Absence becomes inspiration. That child, and the accompanying dream of a secret hidden room, is inside each of us.
But what happens when architects embark on that search for their own use? Véronique Patteeuw juxtaposed four architects’ escape spots and decided that the shedding of ballast was the common thread in their architecture there too. As much as designing can be the endless testing of an infinite number of possibilities, in the cabin, conservatory or holiday home she describes, the minimum surface area gives rise to a maximally stripped-down design question. The experiment will come naturally.
It is striking that each escape place enters into an ostentatious relationship with the outdoor space, the garden, nature. Is it because nature helps us embrace the slowdown? Does living in and with nature guarantee escape? Wim Cuyvers helps us out and his answer is clear: no. “One of the few ways to not be a tourist in a landscape,” he writes, “is to work on it.” Or was that just what we wanted to escape? IN DUTCH!
Small Escapes:
Bovenbouw, Weekendhuis, Bazel (Christophe Van Gerrewey)
Laboratoire, La Roseraie, Modave (Élodie Degavre)
Office, Art room, Ukkel (Pieter T’Jonck)
Atelier Scheldeman, Cabane, Berlare / Atelier vík, Tuinkamer, Kortrijk / Gestalt, Bureaukamer, Kapellen / NWLND, Refuge, Bonheiden (Bart Tritsmans)
Grommen – Royakkers, House for Seasonal Neighbours, Borgloon (Arnaud De Sutter)
Vers.a, Sauna M, Ronse (Guillaume Vanneste)
Wim Cuyvers, Le Montavoies, MontavoixFR (Wim Cuyvers)
Tom Thys, Aristo House, PalmoliIT / Crit., La Roche qui Pleure, FécampFR / Carl Bourgeois, Uitwijkplek, Wibrin / Theo De Meyer – Stefanie Everaert, Serra, Gentbrugge (Véronique Patteeuw)
Voorspoels – Daem, Sparre, Sint-Idesbald (Jolien Naeyaert)
Bruum – Thibaut Brogneaux, Infrastructure nature, Braives (Cécile Vandernoot)
Central, Président, Brussel (Benoît Vandevoort)



123 pages, illustrated, 28 x 22 cm, paperback, Dutch