Kersten Geers was born on May 6, 1975 in Ghent,Belgium where David Van Severen was born on June 2, 1978 in Ghent, Belgium aswell. Geers and Severen graduated as an architect at the University of Ghent,Belgium and at Esquela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid, Spain. Bothwere teachers, Geers is now teaching at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale deLausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and at Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Severenis a guest tutor at Harvard Graduate School Design. They have also writtenthree books together with one of the recent books was Besides, History: Go Hasegawa, Kersten Geers, David Van Severen in2017. Severen’s grandfather was Daan Van Severen, a Belgian sculptor, painter,draughtsman, and printmaker and his father was Maarten Van Severen who is aBelgian furniture designer. His father studied architecture at the RoyalAcademy of Fine Arts for three years then went working on interior design andfurniture projects before making furniture in 1986 where he also worked withRem Koolhas. Severen’s father has some influence on him as since 1995 hedesigned installations and furniture.
Severen has worked for Atelier MaartenVan Severen as well as with Stephane Beel Architects and Xaveer De GeysterArchitects. Geers is one of the members of the architecture magazine, SanRocco. In Rotterdam, he has worked with Neutelings Riedijk Architects andMaxwan Architects and Urbanists. In 2002, Office Kersten Geers David VanSeveren was created. His influence was that of British architect JamesStirling. Office KGDVS is known for its idiosyncratic architecture where theyfocus their projects on the direct, spatial, and firmly rooted in architecturaltheory. Their architecture and urbanist firm is one of Belgium’s mostsuccessful.
Their influences are the history of architectural types andreference them lightly to create a translation of many ideas instead of justone. Officr KGDVS are able to manipulate architectural elements in ways thatthey reduce it to simple forms. What architecture means to them is a projectnot only it requires just thinking but the possibility of bringing it to life. Thetype of architecture they use is contemporary architecture. Their design method is discussing the certainspatial qualities and thinking that each individual thing such as plans aresmall projects to be combined later to become a product.
The history ofarchitecture is just a constraint to them but helps make the imagination andexperience go beyond. They will use the history of architecture as referencebut make their buildings in their own way also they have. completed about 46 projects. One of theirprojects was the Solo House located in the mountain region of Matarrana, Spain.
The client for the house was Barcelona project developer and gallery ownerChristian Bourdais. Bourdais has asked 15 architects to build 15 holiday homesthat could revolutionize residential living with one of them being OfficeKGDVS. He wanted to reinvent the image of what a house should be.
The selectionof Office KGDVS was that Bourdais believed he could work with them intenselyfor many years. Another reason for the selection was that they had a strongfocus on spatial and not only visual concepts. Bourdais’ idea for the soloproject was that it would create a new idea of what a house should and can be.
He wanted the architects to show their pure image of a holiday home. The architectswere given carte blanche The Solo House is a country residence surrounded by avast green forest to create an invisible effect of architecture blending inwith nature as a strong relationship. It has a circular roof supported by eightcolumns which are used as shelter. There are also curtains that can be openedto allow a more fully open outdoor experience to strengthen the relationship betweenthe structure itself. The Solo House maximizes the use of the landscape and thespace it creates to provide this spatial feeling as you enter the house with avariety of ways to get across the structure.
It also creates a feeling ofisolation as you would want for a holiday home to get away from all the stressand problems life can create. There were some constraints for the project suchas budget, size, location, and the laws but Office KGDVS were able to utilizethe landscape efficiently. The construction began in 2012 and ended in 2017.
Bourdaiswanted each of the structure to be enjoyed during all the seasons which is thereason why he chose Spain as the location for his project. Other projects thatwere involved during the Solo House were the other Solo projects such as a symmetricalconcrete house designed by Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, a house with a lattice ofgiant sticks by Sou Fujimoto, and a house imitating an explosion by DidierFaustino. The other Solo projects are visible from the Solo House Office KGDVS made.People were critical about the location where the Solo House would be built asit is near the Els Ports nature reserve and if the location was two hundredmeters further, the project would have been cancelled. The periodicals the SoloHouse was featured on were the Wallpaper and Archdaily,