For the master thesis of architectural engineering, also an integrated design assignment had to be worked out. Within my master thesis it was chosen to work on one particular house in order to test a fourth research tool: the value assessment. The documentary fiches had proven to be useful within a comparative study, but became also of interest to prove the potential of particular architects’ houses to be listed as architectural heritage. This potential can be determined by means of the ease of documenting, the current state of the dwelling, its alterations and the value that it represents within architectural history. When the potential is considerably high, it is interesting to make a detailed value assessment of the specific dwelling in order to investigate the particular architectural strengths and qualities that represent the heritage value. It was chosen within this master thesis to establish the value assessment, by means of a test-case, for the private residence of Louis Herman De Koninck since its potential is estimated as exceedingly high.

 

Moreover, De Koninck is recognised as an important architect in Belgian historiography: he was one of the Belgian members of CIAM and one of the first architects in Belgium who was drawn to prefabrication and concrete in the private housing sector. In addition, this analysis steered the valorisation project within the design part of this master thesis as it served as a guideline while establishing the future program. Through the literature study and the archival research, three main qualities of the house were identified. By means of the elaboration of three main design ambitions, De Koninck demonstrates to what extent the personal house of an architect can be used as a tool in order to strengthen his profession: he explores the innovative concept of Existenzminimum, tests and fine-tunes many new construction techniques and materials and thereby transforms his house in an everlasting experiment. The original house was subject to some minor alterations, while De Koninck constructed new volumes that can be seen as parasites to the original house, when his needs changed. Thereby, the private dwelling of the architect also documents his professional evolution over more than 40 years. The final result of the design assignment is summarized in a portfolio and visually supported by a physical model.

Master thesis /   Portfolio