For architect Bart America, designing is a total experience that transcends a spectacular image or object. With clear architecture, he creates a personal universe in which space and experience complement each other. He aims at creating a balance between contemporary and timeless living. We also experience this in the classic bungalow that he transformed into his own light-filled oasis.
The basis of the aesthetics of architect Bart America is sensory. With his refined use of materials and clear expression, he enchants a growing audience. Today, he takes us with him into his visual language, his choice of materials and his way of thinking. ‘My architecture reaches further than structuralizing a building. Living is also about the coherence between interior, exterior, furniture, art and objects. The sophisticated balance makes a house a home,’ says the architect. ‘I find it important that residents can showcase their personality in their interiors. I like to be inspired by specific elements that fascinate the owners. It is human nature to surround oneself with objects that have stories and anecdotes attached to them. Because these objects must be able to breathe, I often opt for sober tones. The entirety has to be just right, but you have to be able to live in it.’ According to the architect, every project requires a triangular relationship between a place, its identity and its inhabitants. ‘Of course, it is essential to know how many bedrooms you want, but it is at least as important to hear what fascinates the owners. How a space inspires its inhabitants is something you discover by talking a lot.’
My renovated house shows what I stand for as an architect
To understand the philosophy of a creative mind, it is interesting to take a look at their personal habitat. ‘My renovated house shows what I stand for as an architect. It is a 1969 bungalow that I restored to its former glory. More than ever, the future lies in renovating the existing. That is specially fascinating, because you start from a basis and a context, from which you extract lines of force. The first thing we did was to expose them and clearing them up. Instead of building on, I started breaking off. I looked for the lost soul and folded the structure back to the original ground plan. The original arrangement of the design attracted me. I gave it back its original beauty.’ Removing it in order to retain the essence became an important stepping stone for America. He walks the sphere of simple beauty. His atmosphere is based on sober designs. ‘Serenity comes from the correct use of materials. I prefer to leave them natural, in order to capture the authentic atmosphere. The constant craving for innovation is not for me. Colours and trends are very fleeting. Natural materials last longer. I prefer materials whose soul grows with age.’ A good relationship between the space, natural light and detailing makes the contemporary architecture of Bart America timeless. ‘Removing is often more interesting than adding. Personally, I thrive less and less in expressive architecture. I prefer pure spaces that radiate simplicity and character. I prefer subtlety and finesse in textures.’ America describes his feeling of home as serene and uncluttered, which he attributes to the openness, materialisation and an abundance of light. ‘The trees and greenery behind the house create a very tranquil environment that you pick up on immediately. Specific to the construction period of the house are the large rooms with views on various sides. This transparency draws the green surroundings in, which has an immediate calming effect.’ Embedded in the surroundings, you experience a noble simplicity in his house. His accurate eye for detailing extends from the proportions to the materials and textures. Think of natural stone with daring nerves and brushed wood. The exciting spatial effect, the dialogue of materials and the play of light and volumes bring the whole into focus. ‘A house should not be a UFO that you blindly plant on a parcel. I want to feel the garden even in the house. Architecture must blend in with the landscape. A sense of space is also not limited to the strict dimensions of the walls. With large windows that can be opened completely, you immediately blur this transition. The connection with landscapes became a main theme in my work. I think about proportions, about the sun shifting with the functions, about where and when to spend time in the house. I am someone who likes to experience the changing light. I don't want to fight with the landscape, but just let the environment in’, concludes Bart America.
Do you want to know more about Bart America? Read the full article in Imagicasa Summer 2022.
Photography by Cafeine
Listening, absorbing and analysing are the most important tasks for our new partner Bart America when assisting clients in realising their specific project. As an architect, he wants to create an enriching experience for both parties, himself and the client.Discover more