Frame Publishers
Mark #49 Apr/May 2014

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Literally translated, the saying goes that the Fleming is ‘born with a brick in his stomach’.

It’s become a cliché, but it expresses well the tendency of the Flemish to earn a diploma, settle down and build a house big enough for family life. Renovating an existing house is an option, too, but erecting a new home is better. Preferably a detached house that’s as close as possible to where your parents live.

In Mark #49, we ask ourselves; how long can this obsession for detached houses with gardens go on? That’s the burning question. Flanders is filled nearly to the brim with very low-density development, an increasing scarcity of land has driven the price of building sites to historic heights over the past ten years, and ever-stricter energy requirements make it increasingly difficult to build detached houses. Take heed – the detached houses featured in this issue of Mark may be the last of a generation. In this issue, we will focus on examples of domestic architecture from practices such as De Vylder Vinck Taillieu, Atelier Vens Vanbelle, Puls Architecten, Blaf Architects, De Smet Vermeulen and Graux & Baeyens.

The following section will provide some insight into some of the latest projects from Iroje KHM is South Korea, Studio Fuksas in Shenzhen and Büro Ole Scheeren | OMA in Singapore. We will then unravel some aspects of how Chinese developers are now building Africa’s mass-housing stock, take a walk into Japanese art collective NAM’s dreamy designs, try to understand Johnson Marklee’s deft handling of light, discuss urban mobility with Kent Larson and finally get acquainted with the work of [Ay]A Studio and Leap Factory.

Cross Sections:

Garcés De Seta Bonet, Petr Hájek Architects, K.K. Barrett, Chiaki Arai Urban and Architecture Design, Sugawaradaisuke, Mateo Arquitectura, Theo Deutinger, Yuko Nagayama & Associates, Carlos Zapata Studio, Elding Oscarson, UNStudio, Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects, Durbach Block Jaggers, Denton Corker Marshall


  • Introduction: The Flemish House
  • De Vylder Vinck Taillieu: De Vylder Vinck Taillieu slowly expands on a body of work that celebrates an unfinished aesthetic.
  • Atelier Vens Vanbelle: Aluminium panels reflect natural light, allowing it to penetrate deep into the courtyard of Vens Vanbelle’s apartment complex in Ghent.
  • Puls Architecten: Puls Architecten builds houses on difficult and often unwanted urban plots.
  • Blaf Architects: Blaf challenges Belgian building conventions.
  • De Smet Vermeulen: De Smet Vermeulen swaddles its clients in domestic bliss.
  • Graux & Baeyens: Graux & Baeyens divides a fermette into three copper-clad volumes.

Long Sections:

  • Iroje KHM in South Korea: Hyo Man Kim integrates spacious natural landscapes into the houses he designs.
  • Studio Fuksas in Shenzhen: Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas provided Shenzhen with a welcoming airport terminal clad in honeycomb.
  • Büro Ole Scheeren | OMA in Singapore: The Interlace looks like a jumble of toppled towers.
  • Housing development in Africa: Developers and construction companies from China are building Africa’s mass-housing stock.
  • NAM in Tokyo: NAM is a Japanese art collective that specializes in designing daydreams.
  • Johnston Marklee in Oxnard: Johnston Marklee captures light and views on a confined lot in Southern California.
  • [Ay]A Studio in Paris: Jorge Ayala is an emerging designer who skips from landscape to furniture to fashion.
  • Leap Factory in Mount Elbrus: Leap Factory’s latest mountain refuge in Russia withstands extreme weather conditions.

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